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Changes to Flexible Working

Employees will be given the right to request flexible working from the first day of their employment under proposed government plans.

The estimate is that this will offer over 2 million more employees access to varied working arrangements.

Going one step further the proposals suggest a restriction on the reasons an employer can refuse a flexible working request and a requirement for employers to offer alternatives if the arrangement requested by the employee isn't seen as suitable.

Workers currently only have a right to request flexible working after 26-weeks of continuous employment.

Going further, the statutory code of practice outlines that employers currently need to respond to these requests within a 3-month period but debate continues within government to reduce this time frame by placing an emphasis on employers to respond to requests 'without any unreasonable delay.'

If approved employers should be in a position to react and be prepared to amend current policies and procedures on flexible working to maintain compliance.

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