Last December we published a blog on the government’s proposed changes to the law around flexible working requests by employees, which set out the current law and the changes the government intended (at that time) to introduce.
The resultant Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill has now completed its journey through parliament and the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 is currently awaiting Royal Assent.
Once the Act officially becomes law, the Secretary of State will pass secondary legislation specifying the date on which the changes will take effect.
What is changing?
In our above-referenced blog, we mentioned that the government’s stated intention at that time was to introduce a “day one” right to make a flexible working request – currently employees must have worked with an employer for 26 weeks or more to bring a request of this kind. This erstwhile proposal has not ultimately been incorporated into the Act.
Importantly for individuals considering making a flexible working request, there is still no obligation for employers to accept their request. Employers are still able to rely on the 8 statutory grounds for refusal, which are set out here.
These changes could well increase the number of flexible working requests employers will receive, once the Act becomes law, but may make little impact on the number of successful requests.
The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act 2023, creates a statutory right for qualifying workers to request a more predictable pattern of work. This right works similarly in a few ways to the right to request a more flexible working pattern.
In the news this week has been the speculation over Manchester United’s decision in respect of their player, Mason Greenwood. Greenwood was charged with rape and assault, but the charges – which he denies – were dropped back in February. We learnt yesterday that Greenwood’s time with the…
Fans of Radio 4’s The Archers will be aware that Brian has sacked Stella as the manager of Home Farm. The background is that Stella spent £150,000 on a new seed drill without Brian’s approval so he has decided to treat the matter as gross misconduct and dismiss her with immediate effect. Stella has taken advice and has been told that she has a good claim of unfair dismissal and possibly sex discrimination too (apparently on the basis that so few farm managers are women). Leaving aside for one moment the fact that The Archers is a work of fiction, does Stella have a claim?
Legislative changes to the employment law landscape tend not to happen too often in the UK, but like buses, this week a few seem to have arrived at once with the publication of the UK Government’s policy paper “Smarter regulation to grow the economy”, which sets out various proposals for changes to existing legislation and the introduction of new legislation.