While flexible working is by no means a new idea it has gradually become more prevalent amongst employers looking to show they offer “a good work life balance”. Until now though, unless an employee had at least 26 weeks service and either children under the age of 17 or caring responsibilities, they did not have a statutory right to make a request for flexible working.
From the 30th of June 2014 all employees who have 26 weeks employment will have the right to have their request for flexible working considered by their employer. The existing and some say inflexible procedures for dealing with such requests are being abolished, though the current eight reasons for declining a request will remain the same.
Going forward employers can use their own HR procedures to handle request but will have to prove the request has been dealt with in a “reasonable manner” and agree a decision within three months, unless an extension has been agreed. To help employers find their way through the new legislation ACAS has produced a draft code of practice. http://bit.ly/1kzSjrw
The ARAG Legal Services website www.araglegal.co.uk explains the law around flexible working and provides free guidance for employers and consumers. Business policyholders can down-load a statement of changes in terms of employment for free and consumers can down-load a flexible working request application and an appeal letter at £3.99 each. Advice also covers dealing with unresolved flexible working requests. ARAG Policyholders can register to use the legal services website by using the voucher code shown on their policy documents.
Senior Marketing Executive