The new Flexible Working Regulations 2014 came into force on 30 June 2014. These Regulations will change the flexible working rules in the UK.
Previously, the statutory right to request flexible working only applied to those employees who had parental responsibility for young children or who were carers. Under the new rules, there will no longer be a requirement to be a parent or a carer as the right to request flexible working will be extended to cover all employees who have accrued 26 weeks’ service with their employers.
The previous rules involved an extremely rigid statutory procedure which had to be followed by both the employee making the request and the employer receiving it. These rules involved several very strict time-limits for each stage of the process. The prescriptive nature of the procedure had been criticised by both employers and employees for a long time. Consequently, the procedure to be followed after 30 June 2014 has been designed to be considerably less rigid. Under the new rules, an employee can request to work flexibly for any reason. In addition, employers can choose their own time limits so long as the process is completed within three months – this should be a comfortable amount of time for an employer to deal with a flexible working request from an employee. Some aspects of the regime remain the same – for example, an employee can still only make one request in any 12 month period.”
Employers should note that their policies and procedures may have to be updated to reflect the new rules.
For further information, please contact Alan Glazer or your usual contact at Murray Beith Murray.