Employees across the UK will have more flexibility over where and when they work as the Flexible Working Bill achieves Royal Assent.
The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 enables employees to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period (rather than one), and requires employers to respond to requests within two months of receiving them. It passed through its third reading in parliament on Friday (14 July).
  • Workers will have the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job, with employers required to consider any requests and provide a reason before rejection.
  • Follows a wave of wins for workers after a record National Minimum Wage uplift and boosts to employment protections for parents and unpaid carers.

Flexible working is a broad term and can relate to working hours or pattern including part-time, term-time, flexi-time, compressed hours, or adjusting start and finish times. It can also include flexibility over where someone works, whether that be from home or a satellite office shortening their commute.

As well as clear benefits to workers, the measures are also good for British business. Research has shown companies that embrace flexible working can attract more talent, improve staff motivation and reduce staff turnover – boosting their business’s productivity and competitiveness.

Workers will benefit from the following new protections once in force:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request.
  • Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period (rather than the current one request).
  • Reduced waiting times for decisions to be made(within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months.
  • The removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with.
For further employment law related advice, contact our specialist team on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.
Source: GOV.UK.
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