MHA | Guidance Review on Flexible Working Requests Process
Not for Profit eNews February 2024 6

Guidance Review on Flexible Working Requests Process

Posted on: February 15th 2024 · read

In Summer 2023, the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023, received Royal Assent, and it is expected to become effective from Summer 2024. The revised Act includes the following changes to the current Flexible Working Requests process:

  1. Employees, who are currently limited to making one request within a 12-month period, will now be allowed to make two requests.
  2. The current requirement for employees to outline the anticipated impact of their request on the employer and suggest potential accommodations will no longer apply.
  3. Employers, currently obligated to meet with the employee when considering a request, will now directly consult with the employee. If declining the request, the employer must provide reasons and allow the employee an opportunity to present counterarguments based on statutory grounds such as the need for continuity or inability to provide working during requested times.
  4. The timeframe for concluding a Flexible Working Request process will be reduced from three months to two.
  5. Secondary legislation (The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023) will also make Flexible Working Requests a “day one” right.

Employers should be aware that refusing a request on statutory grounds, without reasonable justification or full exploration of alternative options, may expose them to claims of indirect sex discrimination.

For assistance, MHA’s HR Solutions team can create a Flexible Working Requests policy, offer guidance on individual requests, and provide relevant template letters for conducting meetings.

Contact us Get in touch with our Not for Profit team Contact the team

This insight was previously published in our Not for Profit February 2024 eNews

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