Search Results for: right to request

Requests to work remotely increase as stigma around flexible working diminishes

Requests to work remotely increase as stigma around flexible working diminishes 0

A majority of workers (65 percent) now feel comfortable requesting to work from home, while a third (33 percent) of UK employees would decline a job offer if they weren’t able to work flexibly. This is according to a new study from Maintel which claims that today’s multi-generational workforce prefers flexible working to traditional office hours and location; with flexible work policies perceived as an important workplace benefit. Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say the company they work for has good flexible work policies in place, 64 percent of remote workers don’t feel micromanaged, and 58 percent would take the opportunity to spend even less time in an office, if it were available. Well over half (60 percent) of respondents believe technology can replace in-person interaction in the workplace. Yet there remain challenges with flexible work, including indifference regarding the security of company data (66 percent) and distractions at home (31 percent).

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New Acas guidance on gig economy working and employment status rights

New Acas guidance on gig economy working and employment status rights 0

New guidance published on gig economy workingNew and updated guidance s being published today by Acas to help employers and their staff understand the many different types of employment arrangements that exist in the modern workplace and their legal entitlements. The revised guidance is released against the backdrop of Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) review which considers the implications of new forms of work driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and the existing regulatory framework surrounding employment. The new Acas guidance reflects these changes to the way in which people work, are expected to work in the future, and follows recent legal cases about employment status; including the Pimlico Plumber and Uber decisions.

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New guidance on flexible work rights, which come into force today

New guidance on flexible working rights which come into force todayNew flexible working law comes into force today, with shared parental leave (SPL) a new legal right which allows couples to share maternity or adoption leave and pay from 5 April 2015. This means that couples finding out now that they are expecting a child will be among the first parents eligible to take advantage of these new rights. Workplace experts Acas are advising employers and employees to familiarise themselves with the law and has produced a free detailed guide on SPL to help prepare employers and employees for the new changes. It includes a step by step guide on how eligible employees can notify their employer on their intention to take leave and advice for employers on how to deal with SPL requests fairly. According to estimates from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), there are expected to be around 285,000 working couples who will be eligible to share their leave from April.  More →

Increasing numbers of over-65s will require flexible working rights

Increasing number of over-65s will require flexible working rightsWe can get so preoccupied with meeting the younger generation’s more flexible approach to work, that we miss the fact that a much greater challenge for employers is in managing the needs of the older workforce. Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) show that nearly a quarter of a million more people aged 65 and over have remained at work since the default retirement age was abolished three years ago. This means that more than a million (103,000) over 65s now choose to stay in work, compared to 874,000 in the quarter October to December 2011 – an increase of 229,000. There are now 9.1 million people aged 50 plus at work, accounting for 29.7 per cent of all those in work aged 16 plus in the UK (30.6 million). This means employers not only need to accommodate an increasingly diverse range of ages but must enable older workers to work more flexibly as they wind down from working life. More →

As UK extends flexible working rights, nearly half of people say they’re not equipped

Flexible working techAs the UK extends the right to request flexible working to millions of new workers, a new and unsurprising survey from Virgin Media Business claims that nearly half (44 percent) of the country’s businesses do not equip staff properly to do their jobs away from a main office. The survey of 1,274 people already working remotely found that only 30 percent of firms supply staff with a corporate approved smartphone and a mere 16 percent offer tablet computers. Other problems highlighted in the survey include problems accessing broadband (cited by 36 percent), access to company information (32 percent)  and access to emails (21 percent). The survey also reported a mismatch between employer and employee  when it comes to perceptions of security.  While only 22 percent of staff feel it is a concern, 50 percent of them concede that it is a major issue for their employers.

Five things we have learned about flexible working ahead of the new right to ask regs

flexible workingYou can’t help but notice that surveys about flexible working have been pretty thick on the ground over the last few weeks and months. The reason is that – as well as the usual ongoing fascination with the subject – the UK Government is extending the right to request regulations at the end of this month, allowing all staff to ask their employers for flexible working after six months in a job. As well as the numerous studies that firms have commissioned to explore the issue, there has been even more commentary and guidance, often from law firms. While we should always view each of these in context, adding however much salt we deem necessary to season their findings, what is always interesting when you have a media pile-in like this is to sift through it all to look for patterns, common themes and contrasts. Here are just five:

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Flexible working law change will see a quarter of UK staff make requests

Time business concept.Just over a quarter (26 percent) of British employees will ask their employers for flexible working arrangements when the latest changes to legislation come into effect on 30 June 2014, according to a survey by YouGov and Croner. The survey of 2,328 employees also found that over two-thirds (69 percent) of workers have never applied for flexible working, with nearly a quarter of these believing the request would be denied anyway. The research also found that those employees who already enjoy flexible working arrangements identify a range of benefits. 63 percent think that flexi-work creates a better work-life balance, 42 percent believe it boosts staff morale, 28 percent think it reduces sickness and absence, 27 percent claim that it increases productivity.

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Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leaders

Deloitte increases flexible working rights to attract future female leadersAs employers prepare for new flexible working legislation, which comes into place at the end of this month; Deloitte UK has announced it is to allow its 12,000 employees more say in where, when and how they work. The firm has introduced a range of new and adapted, formal and informal agile working arrangements to incite a change in the day-to-day culture at the UK firm. Deloitte already offers all employees the right to request a formal flexible working arrangement; it will now also enable them to request a block of four weeks unpaid leave each year, without reason or justification. These arrangements support its wider measures that encourage a more agile workplace, including the introduction of collaborative and adaptable working spaces, an environment that supports open conversations about agile working and improvements to technology that make it feasible. More →

Extended rights to flexible working could prove a logistical headache for employers

Extended rights to flexible working could prove a logistical headache for employers

A recent decision by the government could result in emptier offices on Fridays and Mondays as staff vie with each other to work from home. This is because from April 2014 onwards, employers will have to be prepared to consider flexible working requests from any employee, not just for employees who have children under the age of 17 or responsibilities as carers. One of the more challenging areas for employers is how to manage condensed hours requests and to keep enough staff covering core office hours, without affecting the business. This could result in employers having to juggle competing flexible working requests from employees who they may not be able to accommodate all at the same time. More →

Flexible working bill gains royal assent, but doubts remain

Flexible working bill gains royal assent, but doubts remain

Employees across the UK will be given even more flexibility over where and when they work, according to the government, as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill receives Royal Assent

Employees across the UK will be given even more flexibility over where and when they work, according to the government, as the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill receives Royal Assent. Originally a 2019 manifesto commitment to encourage flexible working, and now a private members bill from Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, the Act will require employers to consider and discuss any requests made by their employee – who will have the right to two requests a year – within two months of a request, down from three.

However some employment law experts have highlighted some of the Act’s limitations. “It is absolutely crucial to bear in mind that this is still only a right to request – not a right to receive flexible working’, warns Hina Belitz, Partner and employment law specialist at Excello Law. “In that sense, in order to assess its efficacy and whether it will truly make a difference to the day-to-day lives of employees struggling with flexibility issues, we need further information and consideration on whether this will actually lead more people to get the flexibility they need.”Will we just see employers get better at finding clever and ostensibly fair ways to refuse these things? Will we see an increase in discrimination or similar claims linked to supposedly unfair refusals of flexible working requests? Potentially, which may prove a strain on our already full to bursting employment tribunal system.”

CIPD research shows that 6 percent of employees changed jobs last year specifically due to a lack of flexible options and 12 percent left their profession altogether due to a lack of flexibility within the sector. This represents almost 2 and 4 million workers respectively.

Workers will benefit from the following new protections once the Act is in force:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request.
  • Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period (rather than the current one request).
  • Reduced waiting times for decisions to be made(within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months.
  • The removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with.

Alongside the measures in the Bill, millions of workers will be given the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job. This will bring an estimated 2.2 million more employees in scope of the entitlement following a change in regulations.

The Government is also today launching a call for evidence on non-statutory flexible working to improve on knowledge of the extent of flexibility in the labour market. The aim is to increase understanding of the role of informal flexible working in meeting the needs of both employers and employees.

In response to this legislation, Acas will be updating its statutory Code of Practice following a consultation, which was launched on 12 July. The aim of the Code is to provide employers, employees and representatives with a clear explanation of the law on the statutory right to request flexible working, alongside good practice advice on handling requests in a reasonable manner.

How businesses can support employee wellbeing over a difficult festive period

How businesses can support employee wellbeing over a difficult festive period

Wellbeing at ChristmasWhen we think about the festive period, the financial pressures that Christmas brings, amid rising energy bills and not having enough to eat shouldn’t be first and foremost on our minds. With thirty million people employed by businesses in the UK, that is a huge number of employees who could benefit if employers acted now to support them and their wellbeing. This winter has been extremely challenging for many people across the UK. And for the first time since 2009, the UK is in recession. More →

Flexible working should be the norm for as many people as possibe

Flexible working should be the norm for as many people as possibe

The UK government has announced that all workers will now gain the right to request flexible working as a day one right – as to after 6 months of employment in the previous legislation. This move is a very welcome one, yet not enough to make flexible working a norm for all workers. To ensure that workers are truly able to access flexible working arrangements, we need to tackle the flexibility stigma still rampant in the UK. More →

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