Half (49%) of all businesses in London would consider introducing unlimited holiday allowance as the capital takes the lead in flexible working practices, reveals research from fintech lender, Sonovate.
Across the UK, this figure drops to around a third (35%) of businesses who would consider offering unlimited annual leave to workers. These findings come as businesses increasingly look to introduce flexible working practices and other benefits to differentiate themselves from competitors.
The research also shows that businesses in London are much more likely to introduce generous job perks to attract and retain talent compared to businesses across the rest of the UK. Eight in ten businesses in London (78%) would consider allowing workers to choose their own hours – compared to a UK average of 58%.
Whilst almost three quarters (72%) of London employers think offering flexibility over the hours or days people work is appropriate, this falls to 56% for the UK as a whole.
Over two thirds (67%) of London businesses would consider implementing a four day week for employees compared to under half (48%) of businesses across the rest of the UK.
Some of the interesting job perks available through businesses in London include free electric vehicle charging, the option to work abroad for up to 180 days per year, ‘Pawternity Leave’ (additional paid leave for employees to bond with new pets), and weekend access to a company villa in Spain.
Richard Prime, co-CEO of Sonovate, comments: “London firms continue to lead the way in offering the most generous and competitive perks to workers. With the cost of living crisis impacting businesses as well as employees, it is vital that employers look for innovative ways to stand out from the crowd when attracting and retaining talent.
“Businesses across the rest of the UK should be looking at the capital’s example not just to identify new flexible working approaches but also perks for employee benefit packages.”
Londoners are most demanding for flexible working practices
The research also highlights that Londoners demand the most choice and flexibility over their contracts – with over two thirds (67%) of businesses in London saying they’re introduced contract working because of demand from workers, compared to half (51%) of businesses across the UK as a whole.
Similarly, three quarters (74%) of London firms are considering introducing initiatives where permanent workers can move to temporary or contract roles – compared to an average of just 53% across the UK.
Richard Prime adds: “With the highest costs in the country, Londoners are understandably demanding the most flexible working patterns as well as the most generous perks. “In order to offer increased flexibility, businesses will also need reliable access to funding to help manage cashflow as employees change working patterns to freelance or contract roles.”
Business lender Sonovate provides embedded finance and payment solutions to support the contingent workforce – including contract and freelance workers. It serves recruitment businesses, consultancies and labour marketplaces globally to smooth cashflow and ensure contingent workers can get paid on time.
Sonovate recently announced that it surpassed £3.5bn in total funding and £1 billion in annual funding for the first time as rising costs force businesses to seek finance to manage cashflow and drive growth. During 2022, Sonovate provided businesses with £1.1 billion in finance, a 58% increase on the £700 million lent in the previous year and £312 million in Q4 2022 alone.
To date, more than 33,000 freelancers, contractors and gig workers in 44 countries have received payments from over 3,300 businesses supported by Sonovate.