The rules on flexible working change from today, 30 June 2014, to allow all employees with over 26 weeks’ service to make an application for flexible working. Previously, this right only existed for parents and carers.
There are three important changes to be aware of:
- Any employee with more than 26 weeks’ continuous service can now apply for flexible working;
- All requests, including any appeals, must be considered and decided on within a period of three months from first receipt, unless an extension is agreed;
- There is no longer a set process for dealing with applications instead they should be dealt with in a ‘reasonable manner’.
Many more employees are now eligible to apply for flexible working.
However, there is no right to flexible working but there is a right to request flexible working. A business can still refuse a request on one or more of the grounds set out below:
- Burden of additional costs;
- Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;
- Inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff;
- Inability to recruit additional staff;
- Detrimental impact on quality;
- Detrimental impact on performance;
- Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work;
- Planned structural changes.
What do I need to do?
As a business owner you need to update your policies and procedures to make sure they comply with the latest legislation.
If you are in any doubt or would like further information about this topic or about any other employment law matter, please contact our Employment Law and HR team on 0161 475 7676.