Millions of employees now have the right to request flexible working to determine where and when they work.

The new rights are part of the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill, which came into effect on 6 April.

Flexible working is a broad term and can relate to working hours or pattern including part-time, term-time, flexi-time, compressed hours, or adjusting start and finish times. 

It can also include flexibility over where someone works, whether that be from home or a satellite office, shortening their commute.

Workers now benefit from the following new protections:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request.
  • Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period (rather than the current one request).
  • Reduced waiting times for decisions to be made (within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months.
  • The removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with.

In addition, workers now have the right to request flexible hours from day one of a new job.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law. 

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