Every employee now has the right to request flexible working hours within the workplace due to a new ruling passed earlier this week. Although flexible hours are not guaranteed, staff can expect to have their request considering “in a reasonable manner” by their employers.
Previously only parents and carers
Unions welcomed the move as this right was previously reserved for carers and employees who also had to look after children. However, according to The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 20 million people are now eligible. This includes all employees who have over six months of service with their employer, and is thought to be of particular interest to those close to retirement or young employees looking for additional training.
Ban on zero hours contracts
This decision comes less than a week after the government said they intend to ban employers from stopping their employees with zero hour contracts from seeking other work.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said, “Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale, and helps them keep their top talent so that they can grow. It’s about time we brought working practices bang up-to-date with the needs, and choices, of our modern families.”
Business case for flexible working hours
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development chief executive Susannah Clements added, “Employers increasingly recognise the strong business case for flexible working, including enhanced employee engagement and the attraction and retention of a more diverse workforce.”
Lastly, Frances O’Grady the TUC’s general secretary stated, “When you make a flexible working request you also need a fair hearing, so we should improve things further by giving people a right to challenge an employer’s reason for rejecting a request.”