flexible working

(updated April 2024)

Since 30th June 2014, all employees have the right to request flexible working, if they have 26 weeks continuous service with their Employer.  However, from 6th April 2024 this will become a Day 1 Right (i.e. the employee can make this request on/after the first day of their employment).

All the details about Flexible Working, and details of the Right to request Training are in our article here.

It is now confirmed that there are further changes to the Flexible Working Requests regime, from 6th April 2024:

  • An employee will be able to make 2 flexible working requests per annum (up from 1 now)
  • The Employer will have to respond to the flexible working request within 2 months (rather than in 3)/

Acas have revised their Flexible Working code of Practice, which you can find here, and provided more detailed guidance here.  Acas also offers a Flexible Working Arbitration Scheme, which employers and employees can use if the flexible working request can not be met and the claim is heading to an Employment Tribunal.

The code says that:

  • The requirement to consult the employee before making a decision on a request does not apply if the Employer is going to agree the request in full.
  • There is no statutory right for an employee to appeal a decision, or be accompanied at any meeting; but both are good practice.

While there is no current legal requirement for an Employer to set out in job adverts/recruitment whether the role is suitable for flexible working or not, it may be worth considering this now, with the change do Day 1 requests.

The right to request time off for Training or Study

Certain employees have this right. To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Be an employee (not an agency worker or self-employed)
  • Have worked with your employer continuously for 26 weeks at the date you apply for time off
  • Only apply for time off for Training or Study once in every 12 months (although your Employer can consider more frequent requests they have no statutory obligation to do so).
  • Work for an organisation with 250+ employees.

Update July 2011: The Government have confirmed that they will not extend the right for employees to make requests to train or study, if they work for an Employer who has less than 250 employees. (This right was to be extended to this group in April 2011 but was postponed).

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