The new regulations around flexible working are soon to come into effect.

So what do employers need to know?

With effect from 6th April 2024, employees will now be able to make a flexible working request as early as their first day of employment, whereas previously employees could only make such a request after six months of continuous service.

It is important to remember that this is only a right to request and not a right to flexible working.

Employers are still able to reject the request if it is not feasible for the business to use one of the eight statutory reasons for refusal.

As an added right, employees will be able to make two flexible working requests within 12 months, as opposed to previously where an employee could only make one request in a 12-month period.

For the request process, employees now only have to provide the following details:

  • The date of the request being made.
  • The change requested by the employee.
  • The date that the employee would like the change to come into effect.
  • If and when an employee has made a previous flexible working request.

Employers now have a shorter period to respond to a flexible working request.

This has changed from three months to two months, which includes time for any potential appeal.

ACAS has produced a draft Code of Practice on requests for flexible working.

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