Government announces plans to make the right to request flexible working a day one right, as well as new entitlements for unpaid carers.
- British workers to get more choice over when and where they work, under new proposals to make the right to request flexible working a day one entitlement
- government will also introduce a day one right to one-week’s unpaid leave for carers balancing a job with caring responsibilities
- plans will make for more productive businesses, whilst accommodating both staff and employer needs
Every employee in Great Britain will be given the right to request flexible working – regardless of time served – under government plans to modernise the way we work.
Under the plans – delivering on a commitment set out in the government’s 2019 manifesto – around 2.2 million more people will be given the right to request flexible working.
The proposals consider whether limiting an employee’s application for flexible working to one per year continues to represent the best balance between individual and business needs. The consultation also looks at cutting the current 3-month period an employer has to consider any request.
If an employer cannot accommodate a request, as can be the case, they would need to think about what alternatives they could offer – for example, if they couldn’t change their employee’s hours on all working days, they could consider making the change for certain days instead.
The consultation looks at a range of flexible working methods such as job-sharing, flexitime, compressed, annualised and staggered hours, as well as phased retirement – not just working from home. It allows employees to balance their work and home life, including helping people who are managing childcare commitments or other caring responsibilities as well as ensuring that people who are under-represented in Britain’s workforce, such as new parents or disabled people, have access to more opportunities.
The proposals are also good for British business. Research has shown companies that embrace flexible working can attract more talent, improve staff motivation and reduce staff turnover – boosting their business’s productivity and competitiveness.
However, there are some circumstances where businesses will not be able to offer flexible working. That’s why the government is clear that they should still be able to reject a request if they have sound business reasons and will also respect freedom of contract rather than prescribing specific arrangements in legislation.
Today’s proposals instead provide a framework to encourage conversations and balance the needs of employees and employers.
Call a member of the team today to find out more on 01942 816 512.