From the end of this month, the right to request flexible working will be available to all employees with 26 weeks’ service – not just those with children and some types of carers.
The procedure is being simplified as well. The time limits on each stage of the process are gone. Instead, once an individual has made a request the employer has three months to consider it, discuss it with the employee and make a decision. The application must also be dealt with in a reasonable manner.
Employees can still only make one request per year and the eight reasons for refusing a request remain the same as before, namely:
An interesting change is that an employer can now treat a request as withdrawn if, without good reason, the employee fails to attend two successive meetings to discuss the request. It’s hard to see why an applicant would miss two such meetings without good cause so this may of little practical importance.
If you would like to discuss the changes or you need help in responding to a request, please contact one of our specialists on 020 7234 0200 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Most employers are keen to avoid dismissing staff in whom they have invested time and money but this is not always possible.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), sometimes referred to as “gagging clauses”, are rarely out of the news.
On 5 December 2022, following its Making Flexible Working The Default consultation, which has now concluded, the UK government announced that it will be introducing reforms to the law around employees’ rights to make flexible working requests.
I was interested to read the recent reports in the Guardian and BBC News that Elon Musk has sent an email which requires all staff to sign a commitment to working “long hours at high intensity” and being “extremely hardcore”. They report that the alternative is that they will receive three months’ severance pay.