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Good news for employees today as anyone who has been with their current employer for at least 26 weeks gained the right to request flexible working hours.
Under the previous Flexible Working Regulations, an employee could only apply for flexible working hours if they had a child under 17 (or under 18 if they had a disability) or if they were looking after certain categories of adult dependant. Now, the right to ask your employer for a variation of your normal working pattern e.g. working from home, flexi-time, job-sharing or working shifts, is available to you, regardless of whether you have children or you care for an adult dependant.
It is important to note that the changes to employment law which come into effect today only give you, as an employee, the right to make a request for flexible working. This does not mean your employer has to automatically grant your request, as there eight business reasons they can use to justify turning down your request for flexible working.
In an interview with local radio stations JuiceFM and WireFM, John Booth, one of the Employment Law Solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg spoke about the impact that the broadening of the right to request flexible working would have on employers and employees, saying:
“Although all employees can now apply for flexible working, the new regulations will only apply to requests made from today. The original regulations still apply to applications made before today.
In terms of the impact to the workplace, I think that whilst there could be a rush of applications for flexible working made by employees, in practice it is unlikely that large numbers of people will be looking to change their working hours.
Flexible working arrangements could also benefit employers, particularly if the current working patterns of their employees are a source of dissatisfaction amongst the workforce. Granting a flexible working request might allow an employer to hold onto a good employee who might otherwise have left, as was often the case under the old system in relation to mothers returning from maternity leave.”
We've also featured an in-depth look at the changes to Flexible Working Regulations on our CLB Employment Solutions blog.
John and the other Employment Law Solicitors here at Canter Levin & Berg can offer you advice if you are dealing with issues in the workplace, such as those involving requests for flexible working. For a free 10 minute consultation with one of our Employment Solicitors, to find out how we can help you, call 0151 239 1000 today.