part time jobs

#northernflex - shouting about the love of flex up North with.....

Danielle Ayres - Senior Associate Solicitor at Gorvins, Manchester


1. Tell us a little about you?

I was born and bred, and still live, in Manchester. I am an employment solicitor, specialising in pregnancy and maternity discrimination cases. I work 4 days a week as I am also a mum to 2 young boys. My husband and I “share the load” in respect of School drop-offs and pick-ups.

2. Your fave spot in Manchester?

I recently had the opportunity of doing the Bee in the City trail with my sons. It allowed us to see so much of the amazing City we live in, and visit lots of the lovely buildings. We got to go in Manchester Cathedral and didn’t realise what a gorgeous building it was until then - despite living here all my life.

3. How would you describe your ideal working week?

Would be to finish on a Friday not having to worry about how much I had to do the next week, in terms of workloads and distributing that amongst my working days and also the worry of juggling the kids drop-offs, getting into work on time, finishing jobs off at work to then have to leave and pick kids up from after school club.

4. Fave Manchester inspired music?

Not necessarily Mancunian but I am, and have always been, a massive Take That fan, so anything by them (some of them coming from Manchester) would be my preference.

5. Why does flexible working appeal to you?

It allows me to have a work-life balance. It means that I can continue to do a job I love but not have to miss out on dropping my children off at school, picking them up and being there for carol concerts, assemblies and parents evenings and spending time with them during the summer holidays.

So what is flexible working anyway?

You’ve most likely heard the term a million times, especially of late, but some of you may be wondering what it means to work in a flexible role.

It’s our speciality, we recruit for roles that support this way of working and won’t accept anything less for our candidates, so we’ve seen a variety of methods offered by companies to help supply the work/life balance and flexibility modern working families require.


Flexible is the future!


We have a large pool of talented parents, men included, that absolutely need this way of working. Most feel that they’re unable to work due to the inflexibility most roles offer - add this to the growing number of employers we speak to who are in need of finding talented individuals and what’s the solution….Flexible working!


9-2-3 helps businesses tap into this pool of talent. Our candidates are motivated, driven, keen – they WANT to be in the workplace. Research by Workplace Flexibility shows that flexible workers are more engaged – they also have fewer sick days, there’s greater staff retention and increased productivity! The climate is right for 9-2-3!


So what is it?


So we’ve established – I hope – that flexible working is a good thing. Good for both employees and employers. But what is it? It’s not just part-time hours… 


Here we list some of the most popular ways of flexible working:




  • Working from home / Remote working is one of the most popular and productive ways of working flexibly - it avoids the commute to and from the office, better using this time to work. Many employers will offer this one or two days of the working week which allows time for the all-important nativity or sports day and means you can fulfil your working duties at times that suit you and your family.


  • Flexible hours - It can mean so many things! We speak to businesses who have core offices hours and allow employees to flex at either end of the day. It can even mean that you can do the school run back and forth each day, working in-between these hours and perhaps working additional hours in the evening - making that juggle a little easier.


  • Compressed hours – If you don’t mind working long days, then this could be the perfect arrangement for you, working all your contracted hours in fewer days. For example, fulfilling full-time hours over 4 days. Some companies are even offering Annualised hours which can really help with the school holiday juggle – allowing employees to work all their hours in term time.


  • Job sharing - It makes so much sense when you think about it! The business essentially needs a person to do a full-time role, yet they’re unable to fulfil this due to the inflexibility of the hours. So how about hiring two people to share the job? Two brains and two lots of experience in one role. The salary is divided, as well as the hours and we’re seeing this method rise in popularity. If you’re coming along to our NatWest Markets day on June 27th you’ll see this for yourself as we’re lucky enough to have two senior NatWest Markets employees join us to tell us how they make this work. (Why not come and join us for the morning – we still have some tickets left: )


So the workplace is changing…


It’s not just about mums wanting to have flexible working arrangements. It’s about dads wanting to do a weekly school run. It’s about those who have caring responsibilities for elderly/sick parents. It’s about those wanting to fit in a bit more exercise or healthy cooking or general life! Younger “millennials” are increasingly looking at 9-5 desk jobs as old-fashioned…and we can totally see why.


Flexible working is for everyone.


We’ve explained the most popular ways of flexible working, however, there are so many other ways that this can be implemented within a business, as showcased by insurance giant Aetna…




Aetna is a company that uses flexible workspaces to boost its bottom line…


  • 35,000 employees
  • 14,500 do not have a desk 
  • 2,000 employees work from home a few days a week
  • 47% of the company’s workforce uses flexible workspaces.


Thanks to these policies, the company has been able to get rid of 2.7 million square feet of office space, giving the company savings of about $78 million per year (once you add utilities, housekeeping, mail service and document shredding). Not to mention a reduced carbon footprint.


Amazing stuff and I feel that it’s only getting better!


Check our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for the latest news of what we’re all up to, as well as our jobs page for the most recent roles.

#LetsAllFlexTogetherDay Launch!



The hashtag says it all, lets ALL flex together day is a chance for us to celebrate two things;


  • The love of flexible working

  • And the 1st birthday of the 9-2-3 Club!


So what better way to commemorate the birth of our unique networking Club by bringing people and business together to give flexible working a go, for one day and see the benefits unfold.


By flexible work we mean a few things:


  • Flexible hours - so logging on between school drop-offs i.e. 9am-3pm, or even finish off work at home when the kids are in bed

  • Remote/ home working

  • Part-time hours - for example, 2/3 days a week, of five hours, five times a week

  • Something simple like working through your lunch hour so that you can leave an hour earlier


Just recently, the Financial Times shared an article about a firm that had initiated a 5-hour work week, they ditched the 9-5 and said it was ‘life-changing’ for the business with fewer sick days and record levels of new business. It highlighted two brilliant things, that firms are willing to shake things up and give this a go and that flexible working actually can and does work.


So how can you join in?


Celebrate with us ONLINE:




If flexible working isn’t on the table in your current job then this is the perfect opportunity to ask them to give flex a go, just for one day and let them see how productive you can be - show them the benefits through the articles we’ll be posting and prove that you can get exactly the same work done (or more), whether this is at home or through flexible hours and perhaps this could help reassure them that this is future-proof - fight for it, it makes complete sense.




We understand that this is a complete break from the normal 9-5, it may send heads into orbit but this is just one day out of the year for your employees to prove to you how this can work for you as a business. Flexible working is known to encourage employee productivity, improve happiness, so we’re asking you to give flex a go on the 12th September, 2018.


What you need to do:


  • Lets ALL flex together on the 12th September and shout about it by using our hashtag #LetsAllFlexTogetherDay

  • Let us KNOW about it - post your photo’s to our page, wherever you’re working, whatever time you’re working, join in and engage!

  • Tag yourselves and your businesses if you’re working flexibly that day.

We want everyone to know just how great flexible working really is!


Come and celebrate with us in person!

As well as joining our online community, you can come and celebrate with us in person at Unipart's HQ in Oxford (more details to come soon).


We’re planning a great day with some great speakers and as well as all flexing together, we’ll be celebrating the 9-2-3 Club’s birthday!


The 9-2-3 Club was launched 12th September 2017 in Westminster (check us out here), we had a fantastic day launching the club with some great attendees and speakers and we plan to do the same this year, looking at how far the Club has come and how it’s grown with the fab networking events we’ve had the chance to deliver.


The Club has given us a great opportunity to meet fantastic people and business’ and the feedback we commonly get from Club attendees is overwhelmingly supportive, that’s why we want to celebrate with as many of you as we can on the 12th September.


We hope to see you there and for those who can’t, we want to see you ONLINE so we can all flex together and celebrate!


Keep an eye our Facebook and Twitter page as we release more details about the upcoming day!





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