Right to Request Flexible Working Extended to All Employees
Due to come into effect from 30th June 2014, the right to request a flexible pattern of work is amended by:
extending the right to request flexible working to all employees (not just those with parental responsibility for a child, or caring responsibilities for an adult);
replacing the requirement for the employer to deal with the request in accordance with the statutory procedure with a requirement to “deal with the application in a reasonable manner”; and
requiring the employer to notify the employee of its decision within a “decision period” of three months of the application (or longer if this is agreed).
The 26-week qualifying period for employees to make a request for flexible working is retained along with the restriction that employees can only make one flexible working request in any 12-month period.
Acas has produced a draft non-statutory booklet that provides good practice guidance for employers in dealing with such requests and this can be accessed via the following link:
The opening up of the eligibility criteria for the right to request flexible working is likely to lead to some fairly high profile coverage in the media nearer the implementation date, so employers are advised to prepare themselves for a possible influx of applications soon after 30th June 2014. Further advice and guidance on the subject can of course be obtained from your consultant.
Rob Bryan Associates