Flexible working requests now for all

EMPLOYEES who have worked in an organisation for more than 26 weeks now have the right to request flexible working following the introduction of the Children and Families Act.

This aspect of the bill came into effect on June 30 and was a right that was previously only made available to those with childcare or caring responsibilities and is generally regarded as a positive step in helping all employees achieve a good work-life balance. Surveys suggest that having flexibility in the workplace is regarded by many employees as a greater benefit than pay and can be a useful retention tool.

MDDUS employment law advisers have provided guidance on the new scheme which can be found here.

ACAS has also published a new version of its employer’s code of practice, removing the old statutory provisions.

Rather than set specific timescales, the new code states that an employer has an obligation to consider requests in a reasonable manner and meetings should take place as soon as possible. Of course, not all applications will be successful and practices may not be in a position to grant all requests. Further details can be found within the ACAS guidance.