Under new government legislation you now have the right to ask for flexible working hours from the start of a new job. Unions who requested it have welcomed the change and are urging ministers to make flexibility the new “norm”.
Ministers said they planned “to make flexible working the default”. However, some critics were quick to point to government clashes with unions and civil servants over remote working.
The new changes will particularly benefit 1.5 million low-paid workers including students and carers as it will give them the chance to take on a second job if needed.
Since the pandemic there’s been an increased demand for flexible hours, with companies such as the insurer Royal London seeing the importance of it whilst conducting internal surveys.
With current law, employees can only request flexible working after 26 weeks in employment. Employees can make a request once every 12 months – employers have three months to respond to it – and if rejected there is no right to appeal.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said under the new legislation, millions of employees would be able to ask for flexible working from the first day employment.
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