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Capitol Hill Update

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SHRM President and CEO Henry G. ‘Hank’ Jackson, CPA, was one of three panelists to address a congressional audience on Capitol Hill May 22 during a briefing on workplace flexibility. Jackson (right) was joined by John Parry, CEO, Solix Inc and Kathleen Christensen with the Sloan Foundation.

SHRM was invited to participate in this briefing, sponsored by Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) because of the Society’s leadership on this emerging business issue. In his prepared remarks, Jackson positioned workplace flexibility as a business imperative for organizations, resulting in increased engagement and productivity and reduced overhead costs, as well as providing employers with a key recruitment and retention tool.

Pointing to SHRM’s partnership with the Families and Work Institute (FWI), including the When Work Works initiative, Jackson outlined SHRM’s efforts to educate HR professionals and employers about the business benefits of flexibility.

Jackson articulated SHRM’s concerns with outdated labor and employment laws that can hinder employer efforts to adopt innovative workplace flexibility strategies. Warning against legislative proposals to mandate additional paid leave or flexibility requirements, he highlighted SHRM's Principles for a 21st Century Workplace Flexibility Public Policy as an alternative to mandates, designed to encourage employers to voluntarily adopt flexibility. Finally, Jackson closed with an invitation to policymakers and others to join SHRM in a new public policy dialogue on workplace flexibility.

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