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Government propose to make flexible working a “day one” right

The government are consulting on broadening the scope of an employee’s right to request flexible working, which has become particularly relevant since more people have decided to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. The right to request flexible working is set to become a “day one” right, so employees will not need to have worked for their employer for 26 weeks to qualify.

The government have outlined this proposal in its consultation, which is to remain open until 1 December 2021. Other matters covered in the consultation include, amongst others:

  • Potentially changing the eight statutory business reasons employers can use to refuse a flexible working request;
  • Employers may need to propose alternatives to what the employee had suggested;
  • Potentially allowing employees to make more than one statutory request in any given year;
  • Making more employees aware of their right to request a temporary flexible working arrangement.