HR, HR Updates

Request Home working from day one – setting the record straight

There have been numerous reports in the media in the last few days and weeks about changing the law to enable employees to request work from home from day one. Whilst this is partially true, there have been some false reports that have been misleading.  Below we have set out the facts relating to the proposed consultation on a change to the current flexible working request law.

The government are currently reviewing a considering whether to make a REQUEST for FLEXIBLE working a right from day one of employment. A consultation process is due to start this week.

Currently, employees are able to submit a REQUEST to their employers to work flexibly once they have 26 weeks of continuous service, the main proposed change will be to make this available from day one of employment.

The media coverage has very much leaned on the Working from Home aspect of this. The current legislation covers much more in terms of flexible working criteria, so there are many ways an employee may request to work flexibly which include:

  • Job Sharing
  • Working from Home
  • Part Time hours
  • Compressed Hours
  • Flexitime
  • Annualised Hours
  • Staggered Hours
  • Phased Retirement

Although a business is under an obligation to consider a Flexible working request, the business does not have to agree to one if for business reasons it is not viable. There are eight business reasons why an employer may currently reject a flexible working request which include:

  • extra costs that will damage the business
  • the work cannot be reorganised among other staff
  • people cannot be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business will not be able to meet customer demand
  • there’s a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • the business is planning changes to the workforce

The consultation on the proposed changes will also include speeding up the requirement to provide an answer by the employer to a flexible work request, currently three months. It’s also been reported that an employer will need to justify their response, if the request is refused, however, this is currently a requirement anyway.

If you have any questions relating to flexible working requests, you have an employee who has requested a flexible working request and you need support with the process then get in touch with your dedicated HR Consultant today.

Park City’s HR team will continue to monitor and review the consultation process of this proposed change and will assist in the interpretation and implementation of any change to the current flexible working request requirements.

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