HR UPDATE Employment Rights (Flexible Working) legislation from 6 April 2024 Employees in the UK will have more flexibility

Apr 1, 2024 | News

New flexible working laws mean millions of workers in the UK will have more flexibility over where and when they work. Therefore, employers will need to implement the new regulations, if they haven’t already from 6 April 2024. There will be a new Acas code of practice published on 6 April 2024.

Under the new regulations, employees will be entitled to request flexible working arrangements, from the very first day of their employment rather than after 26 weeks as is currently. This includes requests for part-time, term-time, flexitime, compressed hours, and varied working locations.

Employers need to be aware that, under the new rules, before they reject any request for flexible working arrangements, they have to explain the reasons behind their decision. Previously, employers could deny any request for flexible working without explanation.

Employers are also now obliged to respond to flexible working requests within two months, compared to three months previously. Flexible working is general term used to describe any working arrangements, which meets the needs of both the employee and employer, regarding when, where and how an employee works. Examples include, part time working, homeworking, hybrid working, flexitime, job share, compressed hours, annualised hours, term-time only etc. Investment in flexible working, can bring benefits, such as improve recruitment and retention, create diverse/inclusive workplace, wellbeing, bring balance to employees with caring responsibilities, improve morale, make work more accessible to key talent.

Employers must agree statutory requests for flexible working unless they have genuine business reason not to. Business reasons include it will cost too much, can’t reorganise work, can’t recruit, effect on quality/business/performance, not enough work to do when the employee has asked to work, planned changes to the business.

If your policies need reviewing, please ensure that the above legislative changes are updated raise awareness with your employees.  This right is to all employees, not just parents and carers.

Speak to Birch-HR if you wish to discuss flexible working requests and arrangements for managing flexible working fairly and in line with the new Act.

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