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Flexible Working will not become the default

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Flexible Working will not become the default

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:

  1. Making the right to request flexible working a "day one" right
  2. Making changes to the 8 business reasons for refusing a request to work flexibly
  3. Requiring the employer to suggest alternatives to the arrangement suggested by the employee
  4. Changing the administrative process that applies to a flexible working request
  5. Raising awareness of the existing right of employees to request a temporary flexible working arrangement

The consultation closes on 1 December 2021. Responses can be submitted online or by email to