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There has been much media furore over whether the government will force employers to allow employees to work from home – but it looks like a storm in a teacup, at least for now.
It’s nothing new that the government intends to review on flexible working laws – it was part of their manifesto at the last election. But they have strenuously denied reports that they plan to make working from home an absolute legal right - or that they will mandate a return to the workplace as compulsory. How long can they sit on that fence?
Employers can expect a flexible working consultation, perhaps later this year, but for now the process and rules around flexible working requests remain the same. Except - in the aftermath of the pandemic, it might be trickier for employers to refuse flexible working applications. This will especially be the case if the employee in question has been working effectively from home for several months.
Many employers are looking to keep at least partial flexibility – perhaps requiring a % of time employees need to spend in the workplace.
It will come down to what works for your business but, particularly where you’ve had employees working from home throughout the pandemic, consider the flexibility and tenacity they demonstrated. Look at how you can reward that dedication through agreeing a working pattern that works for you both. The risk otherwise is that you may lose valuable people where the chances of them finding that flexibility elsewhere has increased.
If you need further advice on flexible working requests or related employment and HR issues call us now for a friendly chat about your needs.