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Right to request flexible working now in place

1 July 2014

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All staff now have the right to request flexible working from their employers, starting from today. 

A new law entitles any employee with 26 weeks’ service to ask for compressed hours, four-day weeks, working from home or job shares. 

Before, only employees with children or with caring responsibilities could request flexible working. 

However, some small business groups have argued that the change introduced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will mean additional red tape. 

John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said: “Many already offer flexible working, and recognise the benefits for doing so, without the need for a right to request.”

Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) research has shown that the most typical reasons employers refuse flexible working requests are: impacts meeting customer demand (39%), inability to reorganise work (30%) and impact on performance (16%). 

However, when flexible working is adopted, the institute also found an overwhelming majority of employers support it, with 73% saying it has a positive impact on staff motivation and engagement. 

More information on next steps for employers is available on the CIPD website