A statutory instrument was introduced in December which confirms that the right to request flexible working will become a day one right for employees, with effect from 6 April 2024. Currently employees the requisite length of service is 26 weeks.
Consequently, any request submitted on or after this date will be governed by the new rule and can be initiated from the first day of employment. This adjustment is expected to extend the entitlement to approximately 2.2 million additional employees.
Further amendments to the right request flexible working, listed below, are still awaiting an enforcement date, though it is anticipated that it will also be the 6 April 2024.
Once in force, workers will enjoy the following new protections:
- Employers will be required to engage in consultation with employees before rejecting their flexible working request.
- The allowance for making two statutory requests within any 12-month period, as opposed to the current limit of one request.
- A reduction in the waiting period for decisions on statutory requests from three months to two months.
- Elimination of the existing obligation for the employee to explain the potential impact of the requested change on the employer and how any such impact might be managed.
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