Halesowen-based chartered accountants Nicklin LLP are reminding employers that from 30 June all employees will have the right to request flexible working.
Currently, flexible working is only available for employees with caring responsibility for children 16 or under or adults which are relatives or who live at the same address as the employee. Employers have to follow a detailed statutory process for dealing with and responding to a request.
However as a result of the revamp of the flexible working regime, the right to request flexible working will be opened up to any employee with at least 26 weeks service.
Employers will need to deal with the request in a “reasonable manner” and the purpose of the request and the desire or need for flexible working is irrelevant.
The request can only be rejected on a limited number of identified grounds.
Mark Howell, partner at Nicklin LLP, said: “The right to request flexible working remains just that and is not the right to be given flexible working.
“However, the penalty for failure to comply and deal with the manner reasonably could be up to eight weeks pay, which is the statutory cap.
“As these changes come into force at the end of the month, now is a good opportunity to consider the issues and how to deal with them.
“Employers can better manage flexible working requests by creating the right environment where employees can be sure decisions regarding their requests will be handled objectively and fairly and that employees will not be treated badly because they asked for flexible working arrangements.”
For more information on the flexible working scheme, please contact us.