We recently saw the announcement of new changes to flexible working rules, providing the opportunity for all UK employees to request different working patterns.
This could have a dramatic effect on how we design our working lives, as well as affect our work/life balance.
Many employers already offer flexible working for all staff as part of their company policies, but this measure will entitle all employees to flexible working. As more and more of us choose non-financial employee benefits, policies such as flexible working schemes could change how we search for jobs and how we view our existing employees.
For employees, flexible working hours will be able to address a number of issues such as childcare, commuting problems, those who study as well as work and more and provide a non-financial employee benefit. Past resentment towards those who were able to benefit of the past can be eased and people will be sure to be more comfortable in their jobs.Employers could find that they benefit from a higher retention of staff, as they will be able to manage their home commitments easier and work around their other commitments.
For young workers taking on further education and training as well as older workers seeking ways of slowing down, this could be highly beneficial.Acas have made it easy for employers to get to grips with the changes, by publishing a code of practice. Its chairman, Brendan Barber, explained: “Our experience from working with thousands of employers is that flexible working is both good for business and employees.
The new code will help employers handle flexible working requests in a reasonable manner and fit their specific circumstances”. Whilst the measures are great news for those looking to make much needed changes to their working lives, employers are under no obligation to say yes. This could cause a number of issues from a HR perspective and will be down to individual employers to make the decision.