January 17th, 2023

Flexible working legislation update as of December 2022

As of December 2022, the UK government has changed flexible working legislation, giving millions of UK employees the right to request flexible working hours throughout their employment (thereby removing the previous 26 weeks’ service requirement). The new law applies to millions of employees in the UK and means that employers will have to adapt to employees’ requests if they are reasonable and would not negatively affect the company. The new law allows employers to request different working hours, such as working longer hours in four days instead of five or working part-time. This article will discuss the rights of both employers and employees concerning flexible working in the UK.

What is Flexible Working & What are the Benefits?

Flexible working does not just mean a hybrid office policy such as working from home or in the office – it can include changes to working hours, such as part-time or job sharing, flexitime, working compressed or staggered hours or changes to the way work is done. Flexible working is an arrangement that allows employees to have more control over when and where they work.

Flexible working has become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years, with the Covid-19 pandemic speeding up the trend but also due to its many benefits for both employers and employees. Studies show increased productivity and efficiency while also providing employees with greater job satisfaction, better work-life balance, and increased motivation. Employers also benefit from improved employee retention rates, better recruitment opportunities and savings on office space.

The Changes to UK Flexible Working Legislation from December 2022

It’s important to know what the employee is entitled to – for example, parents whose children are under 18 have already been allowed to request part-time hours.

However, in December 2022, the UK government introduced a new flexible working law that will give all employees more rights when it comes to flexible hours. This law will provide employees with the right to request flexible working hours from their employers, and employers must consider all requests in a reasonable manner. The new legislation will also give employers more control over how they manage their staff’s flexible hours, including setting minimum and maximum numbers of hours per week. Employers must also provide clear guidance on how they expect their staff to manage their flexi-hours and ensure that any changes are communicated in a timely manner.

How Will Flexible Working Hours Effect Employers & Employees in the UK?

The implications of this new flexible working system will affect both employers and employees in different ways.

Employers must ensure that they are obedient to the new regulation and provide a compliant working environment for their employees. Therefore, they must also make sure that their employee’s rights are respected when it comes to flexible working. On the other hand, employees must be responsible for their work and make sure that they are not taking advantage of the flexible working hours system.

In conclusion, this new flexi-time system is a great way to increase productivity in the workplace while still respecting employee rights. With proper implementation and understanding of employer responsibilities as well as employee responsibilities, this new flexi-time system can be beneficial for all parties involved.

Who Cannot be Granted Flexible Working in the UK?

In the decision-making process of whether a request should be granted, the employer must follow the statutory procedure and take into account one or more of these business reasons for rejection:

  • the burden of extra costs
  • detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
  • inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • inability to recruit additional staff
  • detrimental effect on the quality
  • detrimental effect on performance
  • insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
  • organisational culture is negatively affected

The employer needs to give a good reason for not approving the request and the reason should not be discriminatory. The employee has the right to appeal against the decision.

What Are Some of The Challenges Faced with Introducing Flexible Working Hours?

Flexible working hours can be hugely beneficial for both employers and employees, providing more freedom and autonomy in the workplace. However, introducing flexible working hours can also present some challenges. Employers must ensure that they are managing their staff with different hours effectively, as well as managing remote workers who may not have the same access to resources or support as those in the office. Additionally, there are various challenges associated with implementing a flexible work policy such as setting expectations and dealing with potential issues related to productivity and communication.

If you are an employer with staff in the UK and need more advice about this, Goodwille can help you. Do not hesitate to reach out to our HR Manager