Flexible working requests will be Day One Right

Plans to allow employees to request flexible working from their first day of employment are expected to come into force in April 2024.

 Regulations have been laid before Parliament and are expected to be approved. The changes to the flexible working regulations will mean that from 6 April 2024, employees will be able to make flexible working requests from day one of employment. The current requirement to have 26 weeks’ continuous service to make a request will be removed.

The new rules will also:

  1. Reduce the timeline for an employer to respond to an employee’s request to two months (from 3 months).
  2. Increase the number of requests permitted in any 12-month period to 2 per employee;
  3. Impose a new requirement on employers to consult with employees if they intend to reject a flexible working request; and
  4. Remove the requirement for employees to detail how their flexible working may impact the employer or their business in their written requests.

The timing for the changes has not yet been confirmed, although it is expected that they will come into force at the same time on 6 April 2024.

Actions for employers: Employers should ensure they update flexible working policies, and deal with flexible working requests accordingly.

Please contact Nicola Tager and Lucy Cinnamond for further guidance.