How employers should handle requests from employees for flexible working is under review as ACAS begin consultation on updating Code of Practice.
Since its inception in 2014, how we work has changed significantly. The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill is currently progressing through parliament (expected to come into force next year) and updates will be made to the way in which an employee can make a flexible working request.
The new bill will encourage employers to take a more positive approach to flexible working so that requests are not rejected, and that employers fully consider the request being made.
The Code’s good practice will be strengthened through:
- extending the categories of those individuals who may accompany an employee at meetings to discuss a flexible working request;
- providing guidance that employers should set out such additional information as is reasonable to help explain their decision;
- providing guidance that employers should allow an appeal where a request has been rejected.
ACAS’ consultation on updates to its Code of Practice will close on 6th Sept 2023. Non-statutory guidance will also be updated by ACAS and will sit alongside the new Code of Practice.