There are a number of skill shortages across the UK with the trend showing no signs of slowing in the accountancy, finance, and tax sector.  This shortage is likely to continue in the coming years and firms need to think creatively to attract and retain the best staff.

One strategy to help counter the skills shortage is to make roles suitable for part-time and reduced-hour candidates. Not only does this help fill vacancies, but it also helps the UK economy by employing talent that may otherwise be economically inactive. 

Tapping into the inactive labour market

The Inactive Labour Market can be defined as a group of people aged between 16 and 64 who are not currently employed and not actively looking for work. Data released by the ONS on the 18th of April 2023 revealed that 8792,000 people are now economically active in the UK,  significantly higher than the pre-pandemic figure of 8370,000. These people are not working for several reasons: they may have taken early retirement, be caring for children or family members, be long-term sick or disabled, studying, or even have given up looking for work because they believe they will not be able to find a suitable job.  Additionally, the pandemic has created a shift in work/life priorities.

The availability of quality roles suitable for part-time and reduced-hours workers helps to engage the inactive labour market. Part-time work opens the door for some to enter or re-enter the labour market, providing an opportunity to gain valuable experience, upskill and learn new skills on the job and can also lead to full-time employment.

Part-time and reduced-hours roles

The number of accountants working part-time has been growing steadily in recent years. Employers that allow their roles to be undertaken part-time reap the benefits of an excellent pool of talent that they would otherwise miss out on.  

At Fletcher George, we work with experienced candidates that have previously held senior accounting and finance positions that wish to return to the market on a reduced-hour basis. With some current upskilling of knowledge and CPD, these people can very successfully relaunch their careers, more often becoming valuable recruits within a very short space of time, adding real value to businesses, and to team morale. 

Employers are becoming more flexible

We know the overall demand for part-time accountants is increasing and we celebrate the fact that the types of part-time accounting jobs are becoming more diverse. It is wonderful that more opportunities are now available in areas such as audit, taxation and financial planning.

Challenges in part-time work in accountancy and finance

Employers that offer flexible and part-time work recognise the positive contribution part-time staff bring. It is important to positively embrace and reward workers in hiring, promotions, and pay. 

Part-time workers can be hugely committed and productive. In the past, salaries for some part-time roles have been comparably lower than those for their full-time counterparts. Now salaries for part-time accounting jobs must be competitive. 

At Fletcher George, we are working with forward-thinking firms across Surrey that recognise the benefits of offering flexible and part-time working arrangements.


Part-time work in accountancy and finance can help to address the talent shortage in the industry. It can also help to reduce the inactive labour market whilst providing an opportunity for people with different life circumstances to enter or re-enter the workforce.

At Fletcher George, we have successfully placed a significant number of excellent candidates in part-time roles and actively promote the attraction of good candidates wishing to return to the world of accountancy who seek quality part-time positions.

For employers, there are so many benefits of offering part-time work including:

  • Increased employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Reduced turnover
  • Improved recruitment and retention
  • Enhanced diversity and inclusion
  • Reduced costs

If you are an employer in the accountancy and finance industry, I encourage you to consider offering part-time and reduced-hour roles. It is a win-win for both you and your employees.

Darran Crellin
Director, Fletcher George Recruitment
01372 364 160