people and symbols displaying employee rights

As from the 6th of April 2024, all companies policies will need to update a change in line with government legislation within the newly approved ‘Employment Rights’ (Flexible Working) bill.

The new changes will mean that an employee will be able to make two reasonable requests within a 12 month period, from day one of employment.

These changes can include:

  • reduce your hours to work part-time
  • change your start and finish time
  • have flexibility with your start and finish time (sometimes known as ‘flexitime’)
  • do your hours over fewer days (‘compressed hours’)
  • work from home or elsewhere (‘remote working’), all or part of the time
  • share the job with someone else

The employee can ask for the change to be for:

  • all working days
  • specific days or shifts only
  • specific weeks only, for example during school term time
  • a limited time, for example for 6 months only (ACAS 2024)

Life changing events and changes of circumstances can happen at any time in our lives, and the previous legislation of waiting until after 26 weeks of starting employment is not supportive or understanding of accommodating employees in a  time of need. Also the previous restriction of only having one request within a 12 month period is also restricting if there is a need to make additional changed.

Of course the requests have to be reasonable and in line with the needs of the business.

You can turn down the request if you can legally prove:

  1. it will cost your business too much
  2. you cannot reorganise the work among other staff
  3. you cannot recruit more staff
  4. there will be a negative effect on quality
  5. there will be a negative effect on the business’ ability to meet customer demand
  6. there will be a negative effect on performance
  7. there’s not enough work for your employee to do when they’ve requested to work
  8. there are planned changes to the business, for example, you intend to reorganise or change the business and think the request will not fit with these plans

More Legislation Updates

Throughout the year there will be further changes to:

  • Redundancy Protection during pregnancy, on maternity leave, adoption leave and shared parental leave.
  • Amendment to National Minimum Wage (NMW) for live-in domestic workers (1st April 2024)
  • Allocation of tips to staff (1st July 2024)
  • Protection from harassment (October 2024)

If you or your employer need any guidance or support on the above, please get in touch with Lisa or Tracy on who will be happy to help