New UK Flexible Working Plans Announced

Millions of employees will be able to request flexible working from day one of employment, under new plans to make flexible working the default. Flexible working as well as meaning a combination of working from home and in the office – also involves employees making use of job-sharing, flexitime, plus working compressed, annualised, or staggered hours.

New government measures will give greater access to flexibility over where, when, and how they work, aimed at producing a happier, more productive staff. Flexible working has been found to help balancework and home life, supporting those with commitments or responsibilities such as caring for children or vulnerable people.

Last week’s announcement came alongside laws coming into effect that will allow our lowest paid to work more flexibly and boost income through extra work. Government is committed to removing the 26-week qualifying period, a day-one right, ensuring employers explore options, before rejecting a request and allowing 2 flexible working requests in any 12-month period, plus ensuring employers respond within 2 months.

The ‘day one right’ to request flexible working will be delivered through secondary legislation, with other policies being introduced in the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill. There will also be guidance to raise awareness and understanding of how to make and administer requests for flexible working.

See also Millions to request flexible working: GOV.UK.

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