An Update on Flexible Working in the UK

  • Legal
  • By Louise

The landscape of work in the UK has undergone significant changes in recent years - in part as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s a growing emphasis on work-life balance and employee well-being, and a key aspect of this shift is the expanding right to flexible working arrangements.

What is Flexible Working?

Flexible working encompasses various arrangements that allow employees to alter their working hours, location or pattern to better suit their needs. This could involve:

The Right to Request

As of 6th April 2024, all employees in the UK have the legal right to request flexible working arrangements from their first day of employment. This is a significant change from the previous requirement of 26 weeks of service. Employees can submit two requests within a 12-month period, without needing to explain how their request will affect the company, or how any challenges their request creates would be addressed.

Employer Considerations

While employers are not required to accept every request, they must consider them in a "reasonable manner", and can only refuse based on specific grounds such as if it will result in extra costs that will damage the business, if it will affect quality and performance, or if the business will no longer be able to meet customer demand. Employers are required to consult with the employee before refusing a request, and provide a clear explanation for their decision within two months (unless otherwise agreed).

Benefits of Flexible Working

Flexible working arrangements offer a win-win situation for both employers and employees. For employees, it can lead to improved work-life balance, reduced stress, and increased productivity. Employers can benefit from attracting and retaining talent, fostering a more engaged workforce, and potentially reducing overhead costs.

How AceRota can help

If you’re dreading having to deal with changes to the rota due to a possible rise in flexible working requests, we’re here to help. With AceRota, you can build and publish your rota in a flash - so accommodating employee preferences becomes a breeze. No more logistical headaches – just a happy, well-balanced team.

Further Resources

For more detailed information on flexible working rights and the latest regulations, you can refer

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