More employment law changes are on the horizon. The law around flexible working will change for requests made after 30th June 2014.
As a reminder, the current position is that only workers with children (or responsibility for them) or those with caring responsibilities, have the right to request to work flexibly. There are some service requirements and eligibility criteria that apply. The current right is to request flexible working and is a not a blanket right to demand flexible working arrangements.
Flexible working can involve a number of arrangements such as compressed hours, a change in location, or reduced hours/days. There are many flexible arrangements possible particularly with the progression of technology.
After 30th June 2014, workers, who have the required six month service, will be able to work flexibly without having children or caring responsibilities. This is the often referred to flexible working for all.
Employers need to respond to flexible working requests reasonably but the prescribed way of dealing with requests is gone. If the request is rejected, this must be on one of the prescribed grounds. ACAS have issued guidance but, if in doubt, employers should seek legal advice. Unreasonable refusal to grant a flexible working request could lead to a discrimination claim. Employers should consider their current handbooks and any flexible working policies and whether these should be updated in anticipation for the changes on 30th June 2014.
Posted on Tuesday, 13th May 2014