The new rules regarding flexible working came into force on 30th June 2014. Now all employees with 26 weeks service have the right to request to work flexible. Prior to this they had to be the parent or responsible for a child or disabled child or be a carer.
Employers can also sigh relief at the relaxation of the way requests have to be dealt with. The previous regime was very rigid and now employers must deal with the request within a reasonable period and deal with the matter reasonably. Employers still need to have one of the eight business reasons to decline a request but will also now need to consider how they balance those with the traditional right and the rest of the workforce.
ACAS have issued a new code of practice and guidance on the new rights. The ACAS Code of Practice will be taken into consideration by employment tribunals when appropriate. Employers may also find the guidance useful.
A recent survey suggested that almost 50% of workers would prefer a start earlier than 9am. It therefore remains to be seen whether there will be an increased update on the right to request to work more flexibly. I know some of my clients have already received such requests from people who traditionally would not have been eligible but they have not been swamped by requests.