Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
This new legislation significantly changes the current legal position on flexible working for employees.
The Act now gives employees the right to request flexible working twice in a 12-month period (it currently has a once-a-year limit) and also removes the requirement for the employee to explain the impact of their request being granted would have on the business to their employer.
The employer’s position has also changed; employers must consult any employee requesting flexible work before refusing a flexible work request, encouraging open conversations surrounding work-life balance. Furthermore, employers must make their decision within 2 months of the request (they currently have 3 months to deal with requests).
This Act improves access to flexible working, which will in turn benefit many groups of employees such as carers, those with a disability, and parents. The changes are also designed to promote open dialogue.
However, it is important to note that employees must still have at least 26 weeks service before they have a statutory right to request flexible working. It was anticipated the Act would make this a day one right; however, this has not proved to be the case. It will only become a day one right if secondary legislation is passed. We will keep you updated of this, and when the Act receives royal assent, becoming law.