Govt announces plans to make flexible working default

Staff in the UK will able to request flexible working on day one of their employment, following new legislation announced this week.

Under the new rules, staff will have a greater say over when, where and how they work under the Government’s plans to make flexible working the default.

The measures the Government is committing to in full will remove the 26-week qualifying period before employees can request flexible working, making it a day-one right.
Employers will also be required to consult with their employees, as a means of exploring the available options, before rejecting a flexible working request.

As part of the change, employees will be able to make 2 flexible working requests in any 12-month period. Employers will be required to respond to requests within 2 months, down from 3. Finally, the requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by their employer has been removed.

Commenting on the new rules, Simon Bellm, partner at employment group at city law firm DMH Stallard, said: “Sensible employers will need to adopt a task focused approach to flexible working, asking themselves what tasks in any role can or should be better undertaken outside of traditional workplace environments.

“Not only will that help them meet the requirements of the legislation, but it will also help them balance the needs of the workforce and the requirements of the business.”

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