UK workers could get more choice over when and where they work under new proposals to make the right to request flexible working a day one entitlement.
The government will also introduce a day one right to one week’s unpaid leave for carers balancing a job with caring responsibilities. The government says the plans will make for more productive businesses, whilst accommodating both employee and employer needs.
The proposals consider whether limiting an employee’s application for flexible working to one per year continues to represent the best balance between individual and business needs.
The consultation also looks at cutting the current three-month period an employer has to consider any request.
If an employer cannot accommodate a request, as can be the case, they would need to think about what alternatives they could offer.
Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said:
‘Businesses have learnt a huge amount about the pros and cons of flexible working during the pandemic, with many firms expecting to receive more formal and informal requests in the future. Employers support giving employees the right to request flexible working from day one in the job.
‘Companies want to work with the government to ensure that they can say ‘no’ when they have properly considered requests but for good reason can’t accept them.‘