Flexible working


Allowing your staff to work flexibly is an important part of creating a modern and appealing employment culture across the NHS, therefore offering flexible working is one of the ways you can attract and retain a diverse workforce.

The Interim NHS People Plan and the We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 - action for us all give a clear commitment to tackling workforce shortages and set out the actions needed to address this situation. These have a strong focus on the importance of flexible working, and our resources are available to help support the plan’s ambition to make flexible working the norm.

To ensure the NHS remains an employer of choice and can attract talent in a competitive job market, more action is needed to increase the uptake of flexible working. In turn, this will help to create more productive workplaces that suit both the needs of the NHS and individuals.


Our guide to embedding flexible working is aimed at supporting organisations to increase the uptake of flexible working and also retain staff going forward. It explores the business case for improving opportunities to work flexibly and identifies a number of key enablers to successfully embedding a culture of flexible working to support successful retention of the NHS workforce.

cover of guidanceAnother aspect of flexible working that we focus on is flexible retirement. In our flexible retirement guide we focus on flexible working through the lens of supporting older staff to access more flexible forms of retirement. Outlining the benefits, the basic principles and what it can look like in practice.

NHS Employers has worked with many NHS organisations in recent years to support them to develop and implement plans to improve workforce retention. Our work on flexible working has been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care to support NHS organisations to improve their offer of flexibility for the nursing workforce. 

Many of the ideas, tips and principles shared in our resources are applicable to all sections of the workforce. However, there is recognition that specific clinical and operational constraints exist across certain professions, and we have tried to tailor certain parts of our resources accordingly.

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Case studies and guides

Use our resource library of case studies and guides to find out how your organisation can implement flexible working successfully.

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External resources

Access a range of useful guidance documents and research which provide insights into how to implement flexible working arrangements effectively

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