UK – Flexible working requests to become a day one right

What’s new?

From 6 April 2024, employees will have the right to make a flexible working request from their first day of employment.

Currently, the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 requires employees to have completed 26 weeks of continuous employment in order to make a request. The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 will remove this requirement along with introducing numerous reforms to the current process which are explained below and which are also coming into effect at the same time.

What reforms are due to come into effect?

  1. The number of flexible working requests an employee is entitled to make in any 12-month period will increase from one to two.
  2. Employees will no longer be required to explain the effect they anticipate their flexible working request will have on their employer.
  3. Employers will be required to respond to any request within two months instead of three.
  4. Employers will be required to consult with an employee prior to refusing their flexible working request.

So, what should employers do now?

Employers should review their internal policies and processes to ensure they are compliant with the new “day 1” right and other changes which will be effective on 6 April 2024, including updating any template policies. If you need any support with this, or would like any further information, please get in touch with a member of the MDR ONE team.

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