The right to request flexible working to become a day one right?

Angela Renwick
Angela Renwick
Senior Solicitor
View Profile

Currently, only employees with at least 26 weeks’ service are legally entitled to make a flexible working request to change when, where or the number of hours they work. Employees may only make one request per year and there are eight business reasons for which an employer can refuse a request.

However, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation on 23 September 2021 seeking views on whether the right should be extended to all employees, from commencement of employment. The consultation will run until 1 December 2021 and seeks comment on a number of measures the Government are proposing to implement. These include:

  • Whether limiting requests to one per year should continue;
  • Whether the current 3-month period an employer has to consider any request should be reduced;
  • Whether before refusing a request, an employer should be obliged to consider alternatives to the pattern requested; and
  • Whether all of the eight business reasons for which an employer can refuse a request are still appropriate, or whether some should no longer be considered valid reasons for refusal.

Whilst the implementation of these changes in law would only take place after the consultation concludes, the Conservatives had promised in their manifesto that they would make the right to request flexible working a day one right. Therefore, whether the other aspects of the consultation will be implemented is yet to be seen, but it seems very likely that this primary proposal will be implemented.

We will keep clients updated on this matter as it develops. Meantime, you can read the consultation document at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/making-flexible-working-the-default.

If you have any questions about flexible working, please do not hesitate to call us on 0141 331 5150.

Enquire about our 12 month employment law retainer

If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors and discuss your requirements in more detail please call 0141 331 5150 or use this contact form.

Any personal information provided to us will be retained and used in accordance with our Privacy Statement

Emma
Emma Grossmith red arrowSenior Solicitor
Angela
Angela Renwick red arrowSenior Solicitor
Louise
Louise Walker red arrowLegal Director
Caroline
Caroline Cobain red arrowLegal Director
David
David McRae red arrowManaging Director
David
David Reid red arrowDirector
Samer
Lucy Brooks red arrowSenior Solicitor
Samer
Samer Cheaitou red arrowTrainee Solicitor
Brian
Brian Todd red arrowBusiness Development Manager