The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 introduce changes to the right to request flexible working. Primarily, making the right to request flexible working a day one right (currently 26 weeks of continuous service are required to request a change in work location, hours, or pattern). Additionally, the changes also extend to:
- The requirement to consult with the employee prior to rejecting a flexible working request.
- The right of employees to make 2 statutory requests in any 12-month period.
- The reduction of the decision period for a statutory flexible working request to 2 months.
- The removal of the existing requirement for the employee to set out any likely effects of the proposed change on the organisation.
Implications for employers
Employers should review their flexible working policy documentation to ensure it meets the updated requirements and plan the corresponding communications to employees. Additionally, managers should receive training on how to handle flexible working requests going forward to ensure the approach and timeframes are aligned with the new requirements.