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New workers shift pattern related legislation

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023 has received Royal Assent and is expected to come into force in September 2024

This legislation introduces a new statutory right for workers to request a more predictable working pattern. This will have implications for the employers engaged in a variety of sectors.

The right will apply to the following:

  • workers whose existing working patterns lack certainty in terms of the hours or times they work;
  • workers on fixed-term contracts of 12 months or less (who are able to request a longer fixed-term or the removal of any provisions relating to fixed-term);
  • agency workers (who can make their request either to the agency or the hirer provided they meet certain qualifying conditions)

This right will apply to anyone who has 26 weeks’ service (and that service need not be continuous).

Those wishing to make a request (an employee is limited to a maximum of 2 applications in any 12-month period) must specify the change being applied for and the date it should take effect.

The requested could relate to hours of work, days of work or period of engagement. It makes sense to have a prescribed application form which can be issued to those employees as and when required to ensure the requisite information is provided.

Once an application has been received, employers must deal with any requests in a reasonable manner and notify the worker of their decision within one month. There are specified grounds for refusing the request which include:

  • the burden of additional costs, and
  • insufficient work during the periods the worker has asked to work.

If a request is granted then employers must offer the new terms within two weeks of granting the request. Employers cannot make detrimental changes to other contractual terms at the same time as making the requested changes.

Although the anticipated commencement date is still 12 months away, it will be prudent for employers to make the necessary preparations for handling these requests ahead of its commencement.

To find out more, speak to our Employment Solicitors or call Wilson Browne on 0800 088 6004

Jennie Jahina


Jennie Jahina


Jennie is a Partner and Head of the Employment team.  A member of the Employment Lawyers Association, Jennie has 21 years’ experience and is an accredited CEDR Mediator. She acts for private sector organisations ranging from SMEs to multi-national companies and public sector organisations.