Press release

More time with the family and flexible working the future for men in the UK

UKCES's Working Futures report predicts dramatic rise in the number of men working part-time in the next ten years.

The number of men working part-time is set to rise dramatically, according to a new report published today.

The report, Working Futures, published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), projects that the number of part-time male workers is set to increase by 20% by 2024 - nearly three times more than the projected growth in part-time female workers (7%).

This growth is particularly significant for men in professional or management roles, where an increase of 25% is projected, marking a substantial change in the working patterns of men in highly paid, highly skilled roles.

Simon Allport, North West Senior Partner at EY, who himself chooses to work flexibly, says it’s not hard to understand the reasons behind this trend.

We need to recognise that the world of work is changing and that a mature, modern workforce is flexible.

Quite simply, flexible working is a source of competitive advantage to employers. It helps companies to attract and retain talented individuals.

I took the decision to work flexibly in 2013 to spend more time with my family. The firm’s leadership, colleagues and clients have been hugely supportive and it’s brought a number of benefits for the business.

While men are increasingly prioritising family life, women are set to become more career focused. A rise of 7% in the number of women working full-time is likely, compared to just 3% for men.

Lesley Giles, deputy director at UKCES said:

While part-time work is most common in low paid professions and is largely dominated by women, this report shows the first signs of that trend changing.

The increase in men working flexible hours has been catalysed by the right to shared parental leave, but seems to be gaining traction. Coupled with other changes, like the growth in jobs in sectors traditionally dominated by women, this could represent a real change in the way people work and the way we understand gender roles in the labour market.

The report also finds that between now and 2024:

  • private sector business and consumer services are forecast to be the main engine of employment growth, contributing more than 90 per cent of net additional jobs between 2014 and 2024
  • business and other services activities such as professional services and information technology are expected to see the strongest rates of job growth

The strongest employment growth is expected to be for higher skilled occupations, with close to 2m jobs being added for managers, professionals and associate professionals over the course of the decade.