National Highways – Spotlight on Progressive, Agile & Flexible Working Practices

National Highways is a government-owned organisation that operates, maintains, and improves motorways and major A roads in England. It has a workforce of approximately 6000.

National Highways logo


Following an engagement survey, positive feedback was received regarding the flexible working approach adopted during the pandemic. However, concerns were highlighted among part-time employees, who felt limited in opportunities for development or progression, mainly due to most roles being advertised on a full-time basis. In response, National Highways utilised this valuable insight to reassess its approach to flexible working, aiming to enhance inclusivity in its work environment and maintain its ability to attract and retain talent.

Innovative actions

National Highways revised its flexible working policy through collaborative efforts within HR and engagement with employee networks, allowing all employees to formally request variations in their working patterns, fostering inclusivity with options such as career breaks and term-time work. Part-time employees have been able to advance their careers without increasing hours.

Managers are equipped with an e-learning programme to support flexible teams, and advert wording now explicitly considers part-time/job-share options.

Special Leave caters to diverse needs, including caring responsibilities, while volunteering days encourage community support beyond annual leave.

Part-time employees are assured of career progression without added hours, and a dedicated working group ensures the ongoing development of hybrid working guidance for inclusivity and accessibility, embodying National Highways’ commitment to a progressive workplace culture.

Evidence of impact

National Highways has successfully embedded a culture of flexible working, evident in its 2023 engagement survey where a remarkable 84% of colleagues expressed satisfaction with the flexibility in their work schedules.

Also observed was a 20% increase in flexible working applications from January 2022 to August 2023. Recruiters are now trained to encourage part-time or job share options for new vacancies, contributing to a 17% annual growth in our part-time network Yammer group over the past two years.

The information contained within this resource was accurate at the time of its publication. This article was created in January 2024.

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