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Navigating the Flexible Working Bill: A Guide for Employers

17 August 2023

In a revolutionary move that embraces the changing landscape of work, the Flexible Working Bill officially became law in July 2023, empowering employees to seek greater flexibility in their work arrangements (the new rules will likely come into effect in 2024).

For employers, this legislation signals a paradigm shift in how teams operate, compelling them to adapt and accommodate the evolving preferences of their workforce.

The Birth of the Flexible Working Bill
Originally proposed by MP Yasmin Qureshi, the Flexible Working Bill, also known as the Employment Relations Act, signifies a landmark step toward redefining traditional work norms. The bill offers employees the autonomy to determine when, where, and how they work, a transformation that has been accelerated by recent shifts in work patterns.

Understanding the Key Changes

  • Immediate Requests: Unlike previous norms, the new legislation empowers employees to submit flexible working requests from the very first day of employment, amplifying their control over their work-life balance.
  • Consultation and Justification: Employers are now mandated to engage in dialogue with employees before rejecting a flexible working request. This move ensures that all parties understand the reasoning behind decisions and fosters a culture of transparency.
  • Frequency of Requests: Employees can make up to two flexible working requests within a 12-month period, providing them with opportunities to adapt their arrangements as their circumstances evolve.
  • Response Time: Employers are required to respond to these requests within two months, streamlining the decision-making process and allowing employees to plan their work lives more effectively.
  • Impact Assessment: Unlike previous requirements, employees no longer need to predict how their flexible work request might affect their employer. This shift alleviates pressure on employees and allows employers to consider requests without anticipating potential disruptions.

Preparing for a Flexible Future: Employer Responsibilities
Embracing the Flexible Working Bill involves more than just compliance; it's about cultivating a work environment that promotes employee well-being, productivity, and inclusivity. Here's how employers can proactively navigate this new terrain:

  1. Education and Communication: Familiarise your team with the implications of the bill. Encourage open conversations about flexible working options, addressing any concerns or misconceptions.
  2. Review and Revise Policies: Update your company policies and procedures to align with the new legislation. Establish clear guidelines for processing and responding to flexible working requests.
  3. Infrastructure and Technology: Ensure your organisation has the necessary technological infrastructure to facilitate remote work and flexible arrangements. Invest in communication tools, project management software, and cybersecurity measures to support a dynamic work environment.
  4. Training for Managers: Equip your managers with the skills needed to handle flexible working requests effectively. Provide training on managing remote teams, assessing performance based on outcomes, and fostering a culture of trust.
  5. Evaluate Job Roles: Review existing roles to identify positions that could benefit from flexible arrangements. Assess the feasibility of job-sharing, remote work, compressed workweeks, and other alternatives.

The Benefits of Embracing Flexibility
While the Flexible Working Bill introduces new considerations for employers, it also offers a multitude of advantages that can enhance your business:

  • Talent Acquisition: In an increasingly competitive job market, offering flexible work options positions your company as an attractive destination for top talent seeking work-life balance.
  • Productivity and Well-Being: Research consistently shows that employees with flexible arrangements report increased job satisfaction, reduced stress, and improved mental well-being, leading to higher productivity and retention rates.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Flexible working can appeal to a diverse range of candidates, contributing to a more inclusive workforce and a broader talent pool.
  • Adaptability and Resilience: Embracing flexibility fosters an agile work environment, enabling your business to navigate unexpected disruptions and market changes more effectively.

Possible Negatives to Consider
While the Flexible Working Bill brings forth a wave of positive changes, it's important for employers to also be aware of potential challenges that may arise:

  • Team Cohesion and Communication: As employees adopt various flexible arrangements, there might be concerns about maintaining effective team communication and collaboration. A shift to remote work or differing schedules could lead to isolated team members or delays in information sharing.
  • Performance Monitoring: Ensuring consistent performance evaluation and accountability can become complex in a more flexible work environment. Employers may need to establish new methods for assessing employee productivity and delivering feedback.
  • Workload Distribution: Flexibility can sometimes result in an uneven distribution of work, especially if team members have different schedules or locations. Managers will need to implement strategies to ensure fair distribution and prevent overburdening certain employees.
  • Data Security and Privacy: With remote work becoming more prevalent, there could be increased concerns around data security and privacy. Employers must ensure that remote work arrangements adhere to cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information.
  • Work-Life Boundaries: While flexible working can enhance work-life balance, it can also blur the lines between personal and professional life. Employees may find it challenging to disconnect from work when there are no clear boundaries between office hours and personal time.
  • Business Continuity: In cases where multiple employees opt for flexible arrangements, businesses need contingency plans to manage potential disruptions. Adequate cross-training and communication protocols become crucial to maintain operations smoothly.

Understanding the potential negatives of the Flexible Working Bill is vital to proactively address and mitigate these challenges. By incorporating thoughtful policies, open communication, and strategic planning, employers can harness the benefits of flexibility while minimising any drawbacks.

As the Flexible Working Bill ushers in a new era of work dynamics, employers have a unique opportunity to reshape their workplaces and empower their teams. By embracing flexibility, you not only comply with the law but also foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and well-being that can drive your business to new heights. The future of work is flexible – it's time to embrace the evolution.


Revolutionising Recruitment: The Impact of AI

21 July 2023

In an era defined by technological advancements, it comes as no surprise that artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant strides in transforming various industries. One such sector that has witnessed the impact of AI is recruitment, and the public sector is no exception.

As a public sector recruitment agency, we have closely observed the integration of AI into our processes, prompting us to delve into the realm of possibilities and contemplate its potential benefits and drawbacks. In this blog, we explore how AI could replace certain systems and discuss the pros and cons of employing this cutting-edge technology.

Replacing Traditional Systems with AI

  • Candidate Sourcing and Screening
    Traditionally, sourcing and screening candidates has been a time-consuming process that involves sifting through countless CVs and applications. With AI, however, automated systems can swiftly analyse CVs, extracting relevant information such as qualifications and experience. By leveraging AI, recruitment agencies can significantly reduce the time and effort required for candidate selection, thus improving overall efficiency.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
    Applicant Tracking Systems have long been an integral part of the recruitment process, helping manage CVs, track candidate progress, and streamline communication. AI-powered ATS platforms can take this a step further by using natural language processing algorithms to identify keywords, match candidates to job descriptions, and even predict the suitability of an applicant for a particular role. Such advancements eliminate human biases and ensure fair and accurate evaluations.
  • Interviewing and Assessment
    Conducting interviews and assessments is a crucial aspect of the recruitment process. AI has paved the way for video interviewing tools that employ facial and speech recognition algorithms to assess candidates. These systems can analyse facial expressions, tone of voice, and language patterns to gauge a candidate's suitability for a role. AI-powered assessment tools can also evaluate skills through gamified simulations or coding challenges, providing an objective and standardised evaluation.

Pros and Cons of AI in Recruitment


  • Enhanced Efficiency: AI streamlines and automates various aspects of recruitment, saving time and resources. This allows public sector recruitment companies to focus on more strategic and value-added tasks.
  • Improved Accuracy: AI eliminates human biases, ensuring fair evaluations based on merit and qualifications. This promotes diversity and inclusivity in the recruitment process.
  • Enhanced Candidate Experience: AI-driven systems can provide candidates with real-time updates, personalised recommendations, and valuable feedback, fostering a positive experience throughout the hiring journey.


  • Ethical Concerns: The use of AI in recruitment raises ethical considerations such as privacy, data security, and algorithmic biases. Recruitment agencies must navigate these challenges responsibly and ensure transparency in their processes.
  • Lack of Human Touch: While AI brings efficiency, it may lack the human touch and intuition that can be valuable in assessing certain soft skills or cultural fit. Maintaining a balance between AI and human involvement is crucial to provide a comprehensive evaluation.
  • Initial Investment and Training: Adopting AI technologies requires financial investment and staff training. Recruitment agencies need to carefully consider the cost-benefit ratio and allocate resources accordingly.
  • Potential Bias Reinforcement: While AI has the potential to eliminate human biases, it can also perpetuate bias in the recruitment process. AI algorithms are only as unbiased as the data used to train them, and any dataset may contain implicit or explicit biases. If the historical data used to train the AI systems reflects biases present in society, such as gender or racial biases, the algorithms may inadvertently reinforce those biases.

The Future of AI in Recruitment

Looking ahead, AI has the potential to revolutionise the recruitment landscape even further. Here are a few areas where future AI advancements could bring significant changes:

  • Predictive Analytics
    AI-powered algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to predict future workforce needs, identify skill gaps, and make proactive hiring decisions. This can assist recruitment agencies in better workforce planning and talent management.
  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
    AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants can streamline the initial stages of candidate engagement, providing instant responses to frequently asked questions, scheduling interviews, and even conducting preliminary assessments. This can enhance the candidate experience and free up human resources for more complex tasks.
  • Skill Development and Training
    AI-powered platforms can identify skill deficiencies among existing employees and recommend personalised training programs. This proactive approach can help public sector organisations nurture talent from within and bridge skill gaps effectively.

AI has undoubtedly revolutionised the recruitment landscape, offering public sector recruitment companies a range of benefits. By automating processes, streamlining candidate selection, and improving accuracy, AI systems can significantly enhance efficiency and fairness in the recruitment process. However, it is essential to approach AI implementation with caution, addressing ethical concerns and striking a balance between technology and human involvement.

As the future unfolds, the integration of AI in recruitment will continue to evolve, shaping the ability to attract the best talent while upholding its core values of transparency and fairness. We are committed to staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the recruitment industry. If you're looking for an efficient, inclusive, and forward-thinking recruitment partner, contact us today at [email protected]


Morgan Hunt Celebrates Successful Appointment of New CEO for Woking & Sam Beare Hospice

03 July 2023

We’re thrilled to announce the successful completion of a retained executive search and selection campaign resulting in the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Woking & Sam Beare Hospice.

Will Worthington, Principal Consultant at Morgan Hunt, worked closely with Woking & Sam Beare Hospice throughout the recruitment process.

  • Engagement: 9th December 2022
  • Shortlist delivered: 1st February 2023
  • Search Completed: 21st March 2023

These dates were all in line with the previously agreed timescales considering the Christmas and New Year Break.

Recruitment Process

The search was tailored to target experienced CEOs from the charity sector, specifically those with a deep understanding of the hospice industry. Additionally, the campaign aimed to identify senior leaders from the NHS who possessed transferable skills essential for the role. Morgan Hunt's diligent approach encompassed a thorough assessment of both internal and external candidates to ensure a comprehensive selection process.

Seven candidates were meticulously shortlisted for interviews. To ensure an in-depth evaluation, psychometric testing was employed for all candidates, which were carefully analysed and detailed summaries highlighting strengths and weaknesses were provided for each candidate.

Successful Hire

Siân Wicks LLM RGN joined Woking & Sam Beare Hospice as the new Chief Executive on 21st June 2023. Siân brings nearly four decades of experience as a Chief Executive, Non-Executive Director, and former Chief Nurse. Her continued inclusion in the NMC register underscores her ongoing commitment to professional excellence.

Siân has a proven track record of providing strategic direction within health and social care across the NHS, Independent, and Charity sectors. Most recently, Siân served as the CEO of Haven House Children's Hospice and currently holds the position of Chair of the Board for Achieving for Children (AFC) LTD.

Morgan Hunt Executive extends its warmest congratulations to Siân Wicks on her appointment as the new CEO and expresses gratitude to all the candidates who participated in the search process. Morgan Hunt would also like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of Will Worthington, Principal Consultant, for his outstanding efforts and dedication in ensuring a successful outcome.


The UK's unexpected job crisis

14 September 2021

During the pandemic the market was such that redundancies and furloughing were high, resulting in fewer jobs and more people unemployed. As the grasps of the pandemic slowly lifted, expectations were that market conditions would return to normal. But to the suprise of many, the situation flipped and we are now experiencing a skills shortage in the UK. 

Job vacancies in Britain are roughly 20 percent higher than before the pandemic. Employers are on the search for people to fill their open positions, and there are still many seeking work, but the jobs don't align with what people are prepared for or want to do. 

The current market conditions were explored further in an article by the New York Times, in which Morgan Hunt's Managing Director, Dan Taylor, provided comment on the situation. When asked about the company's experience as a recruitment agency, he said "This has been a very quick bounce. In six months we went from struggling to find jobs for candidates who are registered with us to a situation where we just can’t find the specific skilled and experienced staff we need". 

Dan Taylor Managing Director of Morgan Hunt

Image from The New York Times. Photographed by Tom Jamieson for The New York Times. 

One example of the difficulties faced by employers is when Morgan Hunt was helping a public housing association hire a senior fire officer. Two people were ready to accept the job, until a department store offered higher pay, causing the candidates to pull out from the senior fire officer position. 


Morgan Hunt staff sign up to become mentors

12 April 2021

The pandemic has affected every part of society, but young people face a particularly uncertain time as they look to enter the job market, come to terms with ongoing furlough or recent redundancy.

Morgan Hunt have partnered with The Youth Group to offer the skills and experiences of our staff to mentor a growing number of young people who are seeking knowledge, advice, and support.

Dan Taylor, Managing Director of Morgan Hunt said “It comes as no surprise that the wonderful Morgan Hunt staff have voluntarily given up their time to help young people. Their experience and listening skills will prove invaluable to young people who may not have access to someone who can help and support them. It is another visible extension of the company’s desire to live our mission by inspiring working lives”.

More information including how you can register to become either a mentor or mentee with The Youth Group can be found on their website.


Morgan Hunt unveils its new brand and job search website

23 September 2020

Today Morgan Hunt unveils its new branding and website. The new brand replaces a visual identity that has been the face of the company for over 15 years. The new brand reflects who we are as a business, the people within it and how we work today.

Our new website brings with it a fresh, easy-to-use interface and new features, which gives candidates the tools to find the right job and for clients to find out about the full suite of solutions that Morgan Hunt offer.

Why the change?

A lot has changed over the last 15 years, that rate of change has particularly intensified over the last 7 months. The modern and inclusive imagery reflects Morgan Hunt’s standing within its markets. It positions the business as the recruitment partner supporting jobseekers that look for a sense of purpose in the work they do. We connect them with organisations that can give them purpose and help them realise their potential, in an environment that reflects their values and allows them to make a difference.

The website augments this message, enabling us to share our story and our services in an engaging way. The site is modern and bright, but most importantly it provides important information to job seekers and employers, as well as a powerful job search function to help our customers find the most relevant and suitable job vacancies for them.

Having a person’s profession as the main search category supports our belief that many skills within the public, private and not for profit sectors are transferable. We trust this will encourage people to explore opportunities that they might not normally consider, whilst making it easy for jobseekers to find the jobs they are familiar with.

What does our new brand mean?

The rebrand brings with it a huge visual change. This includes a new logo, colour scheme and visual language.

Our new logo acknowledges our heritage in its design as it is a modernised take on our previous mark.  The upward pointing lines represent how we have changed, but the familiar square element symbolises that the family values that the organisation was built upon are still present. The outer lines create an arrow but can also be interpreted as ripples. These signify a strive towards progress, innovation and creating positive change for our clients, customers and the wider community.

Our Mission Statement: 
Inspiring working lives through purpose and opportunity

The change goes much further than just the visuals. We truly believe that when we place someone in a job where they add value and have purpose, their role is more fulfilling. The needs of our candidates and clients are the most important thing to us and we aim to provide both with solutions that inspire them and enable them to inspire others around them too. We are proud to help organisations find the talent they need to grow and make a difference. And we are privileged to help talented individuals make a difference and build meaningful careers.

Managing Director, Dan Taylor commented,
“Our new brand authentically communicates the business we are today. It is bright and bold and reflects the passion that our people have for making a positive difference in their work, in supplying organisations with expert staff to help them achieve their goals”.

If you’d like to find out more how we can support you as a jobseeker looking for your next role, or as an organisation seeking the right talent, please email us at [email protected].