Latest News

Reform: Handling flexible working requests

In light of the forthcoming changes to the flexible working provisions set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996, ACAS has initiated a consultation and issued a revised draft Code of Practice on handling flexible working requests.

The revised draft Code seeks to:

  • Clarify the law regarding the statutory right to request flexible working;
  • Provide advice on how to manage requests in a reasonable manner;
  • Encourage employers to actively promote the benefits of flexible working and approach requests with an open mind;
  • encourage employers to remain transparent throughout the decision-making process
  •  to actively offers appeals; and
  • To permit employees to be accompanied by a wider category of individuals during meetings.

There are no changes to the current eight business reasons for rejecting a request, which remain as follows:

  • The financial burden to the business being too high;
  • An inability of the business to reorganise work;
  • An inability to hire additional staff;
  • A negative effect on quality;
  • A negative effect on performance;
  • Causing an inability to meet customer demand;
  • The lack of work during the periods the employee proposes to work; and
  • Planned structural changes to the business.

Employers must be aware of the changes to the law on flexible working and through reference to the new draft Code when implemented, must handle all flexible working requests with care.  A failure to follow the procedure could result in an employee bringing a claim.

Please feel free to contact the Employment Team on [email protected] for any assistance.