For businesses, the message is clear: the future of work is flexible, and it starts from day one.

From 1st April 2024, employees will have the right to request flexible working from day one. The change removes the previous six-month wait and requires a prompt, response from employers.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the changes, delve into what this means for your business, and explore how HR Revolution can provide the support you need to adapt to the new change of flexible working:

Navigating the New Normal

The practical implications of these new rights can seem daunting, but let’s break down the fundamental requirements for employers:

Handling Requests in a ‘Reasonable Manner’

The standard for ‘reasonable handling’ of requests includes an assessment of the pros and cons, and a face-to-face discussion. It is also best practise to provide an avenue for appeal. Demonstrating a fair and structured approach in handling such requests is fundamental to compliance.

Flexible Working Applications

Upon receiving a request, an employer must decide within three months (or longer if agreed with the employee) and notify the employee accordingly. This time frame is crucial, and any undue delays may lead to legal repercussions. It’s also vital to note that employees can now make two applications in a 12-month period. If the employer agrees to the request, they must change the terms and conditions in the employee’s contract.

The Role of Communication

Clarity and open dialogue are essential. From the first day, ensure that your onboarding process encompasses a discussion on flexible working so that both the employer’s and employee’s expectations are aligned from the start.

By understanding these key factors, you can avoid potential pitfalls and smoothly facilitate a flexible working environment.

Adapting with HR Revolution

The transition to a flexible job structure is not just a policy change; it’s a cultural shift too. Here’s how we can support you:

Crafting Comprehensive Flexible Working Policies
We can transform legislative jargon into clear-cut policies tailored to your company’s needs, ensuring all staff members understand their rights and responsibilities.

Tailored Contracts
Every employment contract should reflect the flexibility your company can offer. We can review and amend contracts to guarantee alignment with the new regulations.

• Coaching and Training
Our flexible working workshops are designed to prepare your managers to receive and manage these requests, conducting discussions effectively, and ensuring that operational needs are met.

• Support Through the Process
From facilitating the request process to handling appeals, we will work with you to ensure that each step is handled efficiently and in compliance with the law.

The upcoming shift in the legislation is a pivotal reminder that now is the time for employers to re-evaluate and enhance their approach to accommodating flexible working arrangements.

Make this time more than a response to regulation, but a way to foster a more engaged, committed, and productive workforce. For more information on how we can support you with flexible working please don’t hesitate to contact us at hello@hrrevolution.co.uk.