Flexible working laws are changing from 6 April for British businesses. Here’s how to prepare.

March 7, 2024

Does your business employ people? If the answer is ‘yes’, you will need to change how you manage flexible working requests from your employees.  All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers.

From 6 April 2024 employees will be able to make a statutory request to make permanent changes to their contract from their first day of employment. This means that from day one, they can ask an employer for changes to how long, when and where they work.

Employees will also be able to make two requests in any twelve-month period, rather than the current one request.

In addition, you will be required to make a decision on the request within two months of receiving it. Currently you have three months.

Should you feel unable to accept the request, you will need to consult with your employee.

The changes introduced on 6 April will also mean that your employee will no longer have to explain what effect, if any, the flexible working request would have on your organisation and how it could be overcome.

As an employer, you must manage these requests in a reasonable manner.

What is flexible working?

Working flexibly enables opportunities to work that suits the employer’s and employee’s needs. Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Job sharing
  • Remote working
  • Hybrid working
  • Part time
  • Compressed hours
  • Flexitime
  • Annualised hours
  • Staggered hours
  • Predictable hours or set shift pattern
  • Phased retirement


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