The Flexible Working Bill changes have made it easier for Employees to request Flexible working – key changes detailed below;


Employees have to wait until they have provided 26 weeks of continuous service to be able to make a request for flexible working i.e. change of work location / change of hours or shift / working patterns.

Employees had to explain the effect their request would have on the business and/or how the impact would be minimised.

Employees could only make one flexible working request per 12-month period.

Employers had 3-months to consider flexible working requests.

Employers could reject requests in writing with no consultation

What will happen now:

Employees will have a ‘Day One’ right to request flexible working.

Employees will be able to make two flexible working requests in a 12-month period.

Employees will not have to explain within their application the effect that acceptance of their request might have on the business, or how such effect could be minimised

Employers will be required to deal with requests within two months.

Employers will be required to consult with employees before they are able to refuse a request, however further clarification on what ‘consulting with employees’ means.

Can an Employer still reject requests? Yes – ‘Business Reasons’; 

If flexible working will affect performance and quality of work

If the work cannot be reorganised among other staff

Additional costs (resulting from the request) will damage the business

Additional resource can’t be recruited to do the work (i.e. job share p/time)

If it will negatively impact the ability to meet customer demand

The timings do not work for the role; there is a lack of work to do during the time the employee has requested to work

If the business is planning changes to the workforce / organisation and the request will not fit with these plans.

Things to consider;

What and when can your organisation be flexible, are you doing all you can to support employees?

How do you stack up against the current UK average of 1.5 days per week working from home?

What does your culture and employee benefits look like?

What is your staff turnover and retention looking like?

How long is taking you to fill vacancies?

It has been reported that (Timewise) 49% of employees will request flexible working from ‘Day One’ (29th June 2023).

How can we help?

At Turning Point HR what makes us brilliant is we work across all sectors! And we have the knowledge, stats and data that can help guide you in the decision making process in a world that is continuing to shift to a more flexible working environment.

We are here to support you and your organisation both now and in the long term. To find out how we can help contact us.