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.

Resource Centre


Norway – Additional conditions to be stated in employment contracts

From 1 July 2024, employers will be required to specify further conditions in new employment contracts. This is as a result of the EU Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions being transposed into Norwegian law.

Sweden – Transfer of parental benefit to other relatives

Currently, parental benefits are only available to, and can only be transferred between, parents in Sweden. Effective 1 July 2024, eligible parents will be entitled to transfer part of their parental benefit to other relatives. The transferee will then have the right to take the relevant period of leave from their employer, provided the required notice has been given (usually at least 2 months before the leave start date).

Netherlands – Employers’ obligation to report work-related mobility of employees

From 1 July 2024, certain employers in the Netherlands will be required to obtain and report annual data relating to their employees' commutes between home and work and business travel. This information must be reported to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency by 30 June 2025 at the latest, via a digital platform. This is part of the Government's commitment to reduce CO2 emissions of work-related mobility by 1.5 megatons by 2030.

Singapore – Increased entitlement to paternity and childcare leave

What are the key changes? Government-paid paternity leave – This leave has increased from two to four weeks on a voluntary basis whereby employers who are prepared to grant the additional paid paternity leave will be reimbursed by the Government. To be eligible, the father must have a child who is: a) born or adopted