Currently in order for an employee to be entitled to submit a flexible working request to their employer, they need to meet certain eligibility requirements; most notably to have caring responsibilities for either a child or an adult in need of care. However, employees who are currently eligible to apply do not have the right to work flexibly, but rather a right to submit a request to their employer for flexible working. On receipt of a request, the employer must follow a prescribed statutory procedure to consider the request.
From 30 June 2014, this will change. The statutory right to request flexible working will be available to all employees with 26 weeks’ service, removing the requirement that the employee must have caring responsibilities. At the same time, the procedure for considering flexible working requests, which is
currently very prescriptive, will be relaxed and employers will instead be required to consider requests in a ‘reasonable’ manner and within a ‘reasonable’ timeframe.
So what do you need to do? Well a key factor will be making sure that your flexible working policies and procedures have been updated to reflect these latest changes.