Flexible working: anyone can now make a request



From 30 June, the right to make a statutory flexible working request has been extended to all employees. The right was previously only available to employees with children under 17 years old (or 18 if the child is disabled).

The process for dealing with a request has been simplified and employers will have three months to respond. The other key features of the regime will remain the same: employees will still need 26 weeks' continuous service to qualify; only one request can be made per year; and employers will still be able to rely on the eight (fairly broad) business grounds for refusing a request.

Employers should make sure their flexible working policies are up-to-date and be ready to respond to a possible increase in the number of requests for flexible working.