New flexible working legislation
New legislation relating to flexible working has now passed through Parliament and will soon come into effect. The key changes include:
- Employees can now make two flexible working requests in any rolling 12-month period. However, it will not be possible to make a further application whilst an existing application is being dealt with;
- The requirements of a request have been simplified and employees no longer need to explain in their application what effect agreeing to the request will have on a business, or how such an effect could be dealt with by a business;
- Employers must now deal with requests within 2 months of receipt unless an extension is agreed;
- There is now an obligation for employers to consult with employees before refusing a request. The legislation does not stipulate what the minimum level of consultation should be.
There had previously been an expectation that the right to make a flexible working request would become a ‘day one’ right but this has not been included within the legislation. There is however an expectation that subsequent legislation will make this change at some point next year.
The new legislation has not yet taken effect and the H&K employment team will update you when it does. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to get in touch.