Legislation designed to encourage flexible working has been greeted as a potential bonanza for the channel.
Since 2003, workers with children up to the age of six (18 for disabled children) have been able to ask for flexible working arrangements. That has now been extended to include children up to age 16, with employers needing to cite a valid business reason for refusing a request.
It is estimated that the new legislation will extend flexible working rights to an extra 4.5 million people. Michael Calvert, UK general manager of communications vendor
Aastra, claimed the channel could benefit from the 88 per cent of workers not currently equipped to work remotely.
“The opportunity to the channel is to be able to offer a consultative approach,” he said.
“It does take investment in technology, processes and procedures. [But] the price of technology has come down and is within reach of SMEs, which often get more value out of flexible working.”
Pierre Lams, founder of mobility VAR Handheld PCs, claimed his firm has fully embraced flexible working and could achieve operational cost savings of nearly £100,000.
“Productivity has increased and staff are happier,” he added. “A lot
of businesses have the capability to do this, it is just getting into the mindset and embracing a new management style.
”Lams also indicated the new legislation could ramp up sales of certain technologies.
“We provide solutions that enable flexible working and this will give more momentum to providing software as a service,” he said.
Industry bodies the Forum of Private Business and the Federation of Small Businesses have raised concerns about an increased administrative burden on SMEs.
But David Hamer, director of Redwood Telecommunications claimed the change enabled VARs to advocate flexible working practices.
“People are considering operational cost-cutting and efficiencies,” he said.
CEO Chuck Robbins says Cisco will use the Catalyst 9000 product range as a template for future launches
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports
German vendor claims to be Continuum's 'solution of choice' when it comes to BDR hardware
'Smaller firms may struggle to keep up with Microsoft's innovation with Dynamics' says CEO Stuart Fenton after acquiring assets from Profile Enterprise Solutions