Long-Awaited Flexible Working Changes Now Confirmed

David Reid
David Reid
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The Government has now implemented regulations which bring into effect the highly anticipated changes to the law on flexible working contained in the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023.

The Regulations came into effect on 6 April 2024, alongside other regulations previously confirmed which make the right to request flexible working a ‘day one right’ (see our previous JEL alert, here).

To recap, the changes to the law on flexible working contained in the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 are as follows:

  • Employees will now be entitled to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period (previously, only one request in any 12 months was permitted);
  • There will be an obligation on employers to consult with employees before refusing a flexible working request;
  • Employers will have a duty to give the employee a decision on their flexible working request within two months of receipt if no extension has been agreed between the parties. This replaces the previous obligation on employers to provide a decision within three months of receipt; and
  • The previous regime required employees, in their application, to explain the effects that they consider agreeing to the flexible working request would have on the employer. This will no longer be a requirement.

In addition to the above changes, the draft ACAS Code of Practice on Requests for Flexible Working has now received Parliamentary approval and came into effect on 6 April 2024. For more information on what is contained in the new ACAS Code of Practice, see our previous JEL alert, here.

If you would like to discuss the implications of the Regulations, or if we can assist on any other employment law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0141 331 5150.

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