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Flexible Working will not become the default
But you can have your say about other changes
Currently, employees with at least 26 weeks’ service can make a request to work flexibly. The employer must consider the request, following a specific process and timelines, and can only refuse the request for one or more of the 8 reasons specified in the legislation.
Following calls to reform the right to request flexible working legislation, the government has repeatedly said it would consider making flexible working a default right, so that employers cannot refuse requests. The pressure for this has only increased as a result of the pandemic.
A new consultation has been launched, but in it the government confirms it would be impractical to make flexible working a default right. It needs to be a two-way discussion. They are however putting forward 5 key proposals for consultation:
- Making the right to request flexible working a "day one" right
- Making changes to the 8 business reasons for refusing a request to work flexibly
- Requiring the employer to suggest alternatives to the arrangement suggested by the employee
- Changing the administrative process that applies to a flexible working request
- Raising awareness of the existing right of employees to request a temporary flexible working arrangement