Navigating Flexible Working Requests

Your Comprehensive Guide

The recent amendments to the Employment Rights Bill have ushered in significant changes regarding flexible working arrangements. Here’s everything you need to know about handling these requests and what they mean for your business.

Understanding the Changes

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 Act, effective from April 6th, has reshaped the landscape of flexible working requests. Previously, employees had to wait 26 weeks before making such requests. Now, they can do so from day one of their employment, with the allowance to submit two requests within a 12-month period.

Defining Flexible Working

Flexible working encompasses various adjustments, including changes to working hours, patterns, or location. It’s essential to grasp the breadth of flexibility your employees may seek.

Responding to Requests

Upon receiving a request, ensure it’s in writing and clearly outlines the desired changes. Engage in open dialogue with your employees, considering all requests fairly, even though they’re not obliged to discuss the impact on your business.

Valid Reasons for Refusal

While employees can request flexible working, you’re not obligated to accept. However, the refusal must align with one of eight valid reasons, such as cost implications or negative effects on performance.

Exploring Compromise

If unable to accommodate the request fully, explore compromise options. This could involve partial acceptance, short-term arrangements, or alternative patterns.

Communication and Employee Wellbeing

Maintain open communication throughout the process. Even if you can’t fulfil the request, ensure your employees feel valued and heard. Additionally, communicate your flexible working policy clearly to potential hires to manage expectations.

The new regulations grant employees the right to request flexible working from day one of their employment. As an employer, it’s crucial to consider these requests fairly and have valid reasons for refusal. Embracing flexible working opportunities not only fosters employee satisfaction but also attracts top talent to your business.

If you’re unsure about implementing these changes or need support, feel free to get in touch for an informal chat about how we could assist you.

Call us direct in our Chichester office on 01243 – 967961 or email [email protected]

You can also book a FREE 30-minute consultation with Helen our HR Guru in the Starfish People Virtual Meeting Room by using the link or scanning the QR code below.

Helen Price-Evans 
HR Guru Starfish People Ltd 

#flexibleworking #employeerights #worklifebalance #businesssupport #ukemploymentlaw

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