a post-it note with flexible working written on it

Flexible Working: Now a Day One Right for Employees in the UK

7 Feb
by Suzie Business Owner & Senior HRBP

Starting April 6, 2024, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 will grant employees in the UK new rights to request flexible working arrangements. These changes aim to provide more flexibility and work-life balance for individuals.

Under the Act, employers are now prohibited from rejecting a flexible working request without first consulting with the employee who made it. They must also respond to requests within two months of receipt. Additionally, employees will no longer be required to explain how their proposed change will impact the business.

One significant change is that employees can now make two flexible working requests per twelve-month period instead of just one. This new statutory scheme makes the right to request flexible working available from day one of employment, rather than after 26 weeks of continuous service.

It’s important to note that while employees have the right to request flexible working, employers still have the ability to refuse requests based on existing statutory reasons. However, they must follow the new process outlined by the Act before doing so.

As these changes come into effect, it is crucial for employers to be prepared for an increase in flexible working requests and understand both the process they must follow and the legitimate grounds for refusing such requests.

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