UK staff to have right to request flexible working from day one

The plans include making employers respond faster to requests and explain reasons for refusals 

Recent reports suggest that the UK Government is to propose plans seeing UK staff to have right to request flexible working from day one.

With a consultation due to be launched on the proposals this week, the plan reportedly would enable all UK employees to request a flexible working arrangement from their first day at a new employer.

This is a significant change to current legislation, which sees employees have to wait until they have been in their role for six months, or twenty-six weeks.

In addition, the proposals would also see employers have to respond to requests for flexible working faster than current legislation, which allows a maximum of three months. Furthermore, should businesses decide to refuse requests, the new proposals would see businesses required to explain why the decision was made.

According to The Guardian, “the consultation document, due to be published on Thursday by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis), comes from a wider programme called the Good Work Plan, begun in 2019.”

The Times, reporting on the proposals, stated “the move is particularly aimed at enabling women, disabled people, parents and carers to balance their professional lives with personal commitments.”

For more support, read our latest article covering responding to flexible working requests or get in touch with our expert HR team here.

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