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New law expected to lead to surge in flexible working requests
UK employers could face a surge in employees requesting flexi-time when the new flexible working legislation comes into force on 30 June 2014. The scope of the legislation has been considerably widened and, as a result, it is anticipated that …
UK employers could face a surge in employees requesting flexi-time when the new flexible working legislation comes into force on 30 June 2014.
The scope of the legislation has been considerably widened and, as a result, it is anticipated that up to 26% of British workers (excluding sole traders) may request flexible working arrangements. In addition the process through which employees have to go to make such a request has been considerably simplified.
According to a recent survey, 69% of the working population has never made a flexible working request. Of these workers, 13% cited financial implications as a reason for not requesting flexibility while 22% said they did not think their request would be accepted.
Currently, only employees with children under 17 and those with responsibilities as a carer have the right to request flexible working. The new law extends this right and means that, after six months’ service, any employee will be able to apply to work flexibly.
The survey shows 18-24 year-olds are the keenest age group to ask their employer (31%) and women are more likely to make the request (30%) than men (22%).
These changes to the law do not automatically give employees the right to work flexibly but rather provide the right to request it. Employees can request a change to working hours, working time or working location once every 12 months.
The survey also found 27% of employers who responded and whose businesses have offered flexible working believed the flexibility helped increase productivity and 28% said it reduced sickness and absence.
63% of respondents believed flexible working created a better work life balance and 42% said it created higher staff morale.
It is important for employers to get to grips with these changes, as the survey shows they may well receive an increase in requests from the end of June.
At Royds, our specialists can advise on the most recent employment regulations surrounding flexible working requests, assisting employers to put in place practical measures to ensure that the business always complies with the law. For more information, please visit or contact Richard Woodman, Gemma Ospedale, Caroline Doran or Helen Murphie.
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