Are you supportive of flexible working legislation?

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flexible working
All employees with more than 26 weeks’ service will have the legal right to request flexible working from their employer with effect from 30th June, 2014.

The Government’s intention is that flexible working will make happier employees which in turn will increase productivity and estimates that this will bring an overall economic benefit of £475m in the first ten years.

A study by Regus supports the Government’s argument stating 76% of small businesses that already operate flexible working practices have reported increased productivity in their business. However a YouGov study claims that 86% of small businesses do not currently have flexible working practices and only 5% of those businesses believe the legislation will have a positive effect on business. The most cited reason against the legislation is lack of trust from 23% of the respondees.

Whether you believe this new legislation is going to improve productivity or not, it’s here to stay so make sure that you review your current flexible working policies and procedures. The old rules will still apply to any applications received before 30th June, including any requests that are currently in process of being considered.

There are stipulated procedures within the legislation regarding what must be contained within the application from the employee and of course stipulated procedures that must be followed by the employer. If you are happy to accept a request from an employee, it’s unlikely there’ll be any issues but if, following careful consideration, the request just will not work for the business, then the refusal must be for one or more of a number of specified business reasons and must be dealt with in a “reasonable” manner.

There has been a lot of publicity in the national media around this new legislation so employers could face a surge in flexible working requests from their employees.

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