Search Results for: right to request

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 →

All you need to know about the changes in employment law from 6 April 2024

All you need to know about the changes in employment law from 6 April 2024

There are a number of employment law changes coming into effect on 6 April 2024 that will impact SMEs the most. These modifications to employment law will profoundly influence the daily functions of businessesThere are a number of employment law changes coming into effect on 6 April 2024 that will impact SMEs the most. These modifications to employment law will profoundly influence the daily functions of businesses, especially during a period when SMEs face substantial economic challenges. It is essential for managers to revise their policies, engage with employees, and adapt their procedures in alignment with the updated regulations prior to their implementation. This proactive stance is vital to maintain compliance and mitigate potential claims. More →

Many people would forgo a pay rise in favour of flexible working

Many people would forgo a pay rise in favour of flexible working

espite attractive flexible working policies outweighing the need for increased remuneration, the research - conducted by PayFit - claims that a sizable 83 percent of those surveyed felt improvement was needed to their current workplace’s flexible working policiesA new poll claims that nearly 50 percent of respondents would reject a substantial 15 percent pay increase if it meant forfeiting workplace flexibility, even in a challenging financial climate. Despite attractive flexible working policies outweighing the need for increased remuneration, the research – conducted by PayFit – claims that a sizable 83 percent of those surveyed felt improvement was needed to their current workplace’s flexible policies. More →

Government issues formal warning to council over four-day working week

Government issues formal warning to council over four-day working week

A formal notice has been issued to South Cambridgeshire District Council over its four-day working week trialA formal notice has been issued to South Cambridgeshire District Council over its four-day working week trial, because the UK government says it wants ‘to ensure taxpayers’ money is well spent’. A Best Value Notice, issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, formally sets out government concerns around the council and whether the trial offers value for money, including the removal of up to a fifth of the authority’s capacity. It requests evidence on the trial to consider whether the council is meeting its Best Value Duty, including on: staffing; costs; service delivery; resident feedback; overall performance since the start of the trial; should a four-day working week continue. 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 →

What effect will the Employment Bill have on hybrid working?

What effect will the Employment Bill have on hybrid working?

hybrid workingThe long-awaited Employment Bill may be published later this year. The draft Bill, first introduced in the Queen’s speech in 2019, was put on hold and repeatedly delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. There is some confusion around what the change to flexible working will entail should the Employment Bill come into force. In the Queen’s speech, as set out in the Conservative’s manifesto earlier that year, it was announced that the proposal was to make flexible working the default position unless an employer had a ‘good reason’ not to allow it. This proposal would have been a radical change in favour of employees as flexible working would become an automatic right – thereby weakening an employer’s ability to push back on hybrid working requests. More →

The wellbeing of parents should be a greater concern for employers

The wellbeing of parents should be a greater concern for employers

wellbeingA recent Oxford University study revealed that levels of stress, anxiety and depression unsurprisingly rose in parents and carers during the pandemic lockdowns. Although social restrictions have now lifted, the recovery from the significant mental impact will continue to take parents some time. Now, more than ever, organisations have a key role in remedying stress and burnout and supporting working parents’ wellbeing. More →

Remote working is still largely regulated at company level in Europe

Remote working is still largely regulated at company level in Europe

Access to telework and other remote working arrangements are still largely determined at company level in most EU Member States, with just France, Lithuania and Portugal currently enshrining the right to request telework in legislation. While some common ground exists, there are varying standards and practices in place with regards to telework in the EU, which can be regulated through legislation or collective agreements. These can relate to important issues such as health and safety, working time, and compensation. Although the right to disconnect has recently been expanded in several countries, it is not extensive throughout the EU and differs in implementation across the Member States. More →

The future of work isn’t what it used to be

The future of work isn’t what it used to be

future of workAt the 1983 International Design Conference in Aspen, Steve Jobs delivered a speech addressing the theme of the conference; The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be. In it he set out his thoughts on new technology, intuitive design, personal computing as well as the need for a constantly evolving idea of what the future will look like, including the future of work. More →

Growing number of firms link increased productivity to home and flexible working

Growing number of firms link increased productivity to home and flexible working

flexible workingThe number of employers who believe that an increase in homeworking and flexible working has increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency has jumped significantly over the last year, according to new research from the CIPD. When asked in December 2020, a third (33 percent) of employers said homeworking had increased their organisation’s productivity or efficiency. However, when asked about increased home/hybrid working in October/November 2021, over two-fifths (41 percent) said these new ways of working had increased this. More →