Most Flexible Jobs For Working Parents

Spend any time hanging around with a group of new parents and it won’t be long before the issue of work raises its ugly head. Priorities change when you have to consider kids. Perhaps promotion isn’t as important as being able to work flexibly? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that flexible jobs just applies to Mums. Parents of both sexes are looking to work part time, job share, flexi-time or work from home in increasing numbers.

Freelancing, Consultancy and Self-Employment

Perhaps the obvious answer to wanting flexibility is to work for yourself. Increasing use of technology makes this easier than ever. Freelancers can use Skype, email and shared documents to work for clients around the world. People with a skill like web design can work with businesses to sell their skills. However, self-employment isn’t always as flexible as you might think. This sort of work has peaks and troughs, with no two weeks being the same. It’s perhaps not ideal if you’re relying on your income to pay the bills.

Speak To Your Current Employer about Flexible Jobs

The law has changed in recent years around the whole topic of flexible working. It’s no longer just parents who can put in a formal request for flexible hours. Anyone who has been with the employer for at least 26 weeks can put in a request for flexible working. If you’re thinking about asking, then it’s up to you to propose a plan to your employer. You should state what hours you’d like you work, and what impact this might have on the business. You have freedom over what work pattern to suggest. This could include going part-time, job sharing with someone else, or working at home a couple of days per week. Employers might reject your initial proposal but will be prepared to compromise – agreeing to one day working at home rather than two, for example. Your employer doesn’t have to grant your request, but has to give valid reasons for rejecting it. You have the right to apply for flexible working again after 12 months, when the situation may have changed.

Zero Hour Contracts

Zero hour contracts get a bad press. There is no doubt that in some cases, zero hour contracts can be used by unscrupulous employers who just want to exploit staff. For a working parent though, taking a zero hour contract can give the flexibility they require. As you’re not promised any hours, this sort of work often allows you to pick and choose what shifts you’d like for the following week. Not having set hours can allow you to plan around childcare or school holidays. Zero hour contracts are used in a range of industries from homecare to retail. There’s growing demand for carers in the UK as we all get older. In order to get into this sort of work you’ll need a good basic education, a driving licence and you’ll have to get an enhanced DBS check.  Many care agencies give the opportunity to progress to supervisory positions if you do well.