Flexible Working at the DVLA

13th September 2018

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) recently won the FairPlay Employer Award at Chwarae Teg’s Womenspire 2018 Awards, and Contact Centre Head Jill Callan was a finalist for the Leadership Award. DVLA are a subscriber to our FairPlay Employer service which supports businesses on gender equality.

DVLA is an executive agency of the Department for Transport (DfT). In 2017, 61% of staff in the Agency were female.dvla-1

The Agency has successfully piloted modern working practices to adapt the way it manages people and the way they work, in order to drive cultural change.

DVLA recognised that care and other commitments that interrupt the traditional working day need to be dealt with more dynamically. Their approach has been successful in creating a working environment that focusses less on the time spent in work and more on delivering high quality deliverables. This ultimately enables employees to have a better work/life balance.

“Managers are reporting more engagement, enthusiasm, and a greater focus on getting the job done amongst their staff with some excellent examples of increased team working. There is less clock watching and worrying about how to make back time and more focus on good quality delivery.” – Sue Feathers, HR Business Partner.

A number of pilot schemes were introduced over the course of 15 months, with just over 400 staff now taking part. The Agency researched best practice, and realised with both operational and non-operational departments that there would be no one size fits all. Each business area developed their own proposition.

The DVLA’s pilot showed a significant improvement on short term sickness absence over 12 months. Early results from the operational area reveal short term sick absences to be running almost 50% lower in the first 3 months of their pilots.

dvla-2A series of staff surveys reveal the pilots have been well received by staff, with 66% stating that it had greatly improved their work/life balance, and people with caring responsibilities reporting that if it weren’t for the scheme they would have had to take more paid leave or unpaid leave to manage their responsibilities. 86% of staff reported feeling trusted to make decisions and satisfaction with their working arrangements. 89% of staff stated there were no barriers to doing their job flexibly.

Senior managers such as Jill Callan, Head of DVLA’s Contact Centre, are crucial to ensuring the culture change necessary for a successful introduction of modern working practices. A finalist for the Womenspire 2018 Leadership award, her nominator said “Jill is an inspirational leader who cares deeply about her people and ensures that work life balances are always considered. She champions the use of flexible working and takes a personal interest in staff. She has an open style whereby staff of all grades find her approachable, her behaviour is exemplar and she leads by example, with confidence and passion – a role model for us all.”

Chwarae Teg’s FairPlay Employer Service can support your business to deliver gender equality in your business, giving you the benefits of a truly balanced workforce. The service includes development of a bespoke Action Plan for improvement on gender equality and diversity, and support to implement.

For more information email us at fairplayemployer@chwaraeteg.com and we’ll be in touch to meet with you to discuss how the service can work for your organisation.