Flexible working: Fancy a three day weekend?

Written on 1 July 2014

How would you like to work a four day week? Or to have the opportunity to work from home? Well as of 30th June 2014, UK employees were granted the right to request flexible working under the Flexible Working Regulations 2014. This includes the opportunity to work part time, flexi-time working, job-sharing, working remotely (ie. from home), compressed working (ie. squeezing five days work into four) as well as taking unpaid leave during school holidays.

As long as you have worked for your employer for more than 26 weeks and you have not made another application to work flexibly during the previous 12 months, you now have the legal right to request flexible working from your employer, and your employer has a legal obligation to answer as well as having to provide a valid reason if they choose to decline. Until now, only those with dependants or those who are registered carers were in the position to request such flexibility.

This is all part of a government scheme to make workplaces "fit for the 21st Century" and equalise rights between those with dependants and those without.

However, as always, there can be a cost to businesses as a result of these changes. A lot of companies unofficially offer flexible working anyway and so the extra regulations could cause further administration which will be an additional cost to the employer. Alongside this, there may be need for recruitment of more staff to cover the time off to ensure that service levels are maintained, once again increasing costs to many businesses just starting to see growth.

For more information on Flexible Working, visit https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview.