How flexible is your business?

Feb 24, 2023

As a HR Consultant I am asked all the time about how to navigate the changes in how a business approaches their flexible working policies.

I would always suggest with empathy and a clear business rationale why a request would not be approved in your specific business or sector. The Bill was introduced in June 2022 and amends the Employment Rights Act 1996 to change the current right to request flexible working in the following ways: 1. removing the requirement for employees to explain in their applications what effect they think it will have on the employer, 2. allowing employees to make two flexible working requests per 12 months instead of the one currently allowed, 3. requiring employers to consult with the employee before being allowed to refuse an application, and 4. reducing the deadline for an employer decision on flexible working requests from three months to two months. The Bill would apply to England, Scotland and Wales but not Northern Ireland where employment law is a devolved matter.

In this ever-changing business landscape having the reputation of being a flexible employer goes a long way to staff morale and motivation. It also lends itself to staff retention of your existing and experienced employees and even acquiring new talent because they know you would consider their request for flexibility in an honest and open manner.

Changes to flexible working requests