The government has set out proposals to give all employees the right to request flexible working from 2014 onwards. At present, only parents and carers have the right to request reduced or part-time hours.
The proposals include:
- replacing the current ‘right to request’ procedure with a duty on employers to deal with requests in a reasonable manner, and within a ‘reasonable’ period of time;
- creating a statutory code of practice to give guidance on the meaning of ‘reasonable’ to employers; and
- providing guidance to employers on how to prioritise conflicting requests that are received at the same time.
Some businesses have expressed concerns about the changes, suggesting that they could increase friction between staff and employers. However, under the proposals, employers would still be able to turn down flexible working requests for prescribed business reasons.
Full story can be found here.
Further information on the government’s response to its consultation on Modern Workplaces can be found here.