Flexible working for all
From 30 June 2014 the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees and the rigid statutory request procedure was abolished for requests made on or after that date.
Under the Children and Families Act 2014, a flexible working request no longer has to be to care for a child or dependent adult – the employee (agency workers aren't eligible) must simply have 26 weeks' continuous service, and not have made a request in the previous 12 months. Employees still have to:
- Date the request, give details of their proposal and when it would begin;
- Explain what effect it will have on the employer and how this might be dealt with; and
- State it is a statutory request, together with the date of any previous request.
Instead of the current statutory procedure the employer must "deal with the application in a reasonable manner" and notify the employee of the decision (including any appeal decision) within 3 months of the request. This time frame can be extended by agreement.
Key action points:
- Flexible working policies will need to be updated and managers will need to be trained on handling flexible working requests carefully, including awareness of the increased potential for all types of discrimination claim.
- Click here to view our employment team's feature length article on these changes.