Civil service encourages senior officials to job share with ‘speed-dating’ networking event

Officials invited to 'speed-dating’ networking event to raise awareness of flexible working options

By Sarah Aston

12 Mar 2015

The civil service is holding a networking event for officials looking for promotion to the senior civil service or interested in job sharing. 

As part of an awareness drive to promote flexible working opportunities in the civil service, G6/7 and SCS 1 and SCS 2 officials have been invited to an informal networking event on 18 March.

Although the Cabinet Office announced plans to encourage smarter and more flexible working across the civil service as part of wider civil service reforms, work flexibility is still an issue for some civil servants. 

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In a recent Dods survey of 2,171 civil servants, 30% said that a lack of job flexibility was a significant barrier to promotion. 

A respondent from the Department for International Development said that part time workers struggle to be regarded “as someone who is still looking to enhance their skill set and progress”, while a Cabinet Office official said the “culture of long hours” does not accommodate a four-day week.

Last year, employment minister Jo Swinson admitted that government needed to do more to encourage flexible working across the civil service. 

Speaking at Westminster Briefing’s Employee Engagement Summit, Swinson acknowledged that while some departments have embraced the concept of flexible working, others still have a slight “snobbishness” towards job sharing and part time working.

“At BIS for example, I know things like flexible working and part time working in quite senior positions is actually quite common and we have job shares at deputy director level. I’m not sure that’s quite the same in all of the other departments.”



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