The UK wants to expand its right-to-request flexible work policy as the region prepares for an inevitable shift to hybrid and remote working.
Current policy allows UK employees to request a flexible work arrangement once per year, but the new Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill would give workers the chance for two requests.
Employers will also be required to discuss with employees why their application may be denied, as well as any other options they can provide, in the introduced legislation. Additionally, the deadline for application rejection will be shortened from three months to two.
“As it stands, all employees have the right to request flexible working, but they need to have worked for their employer for 26 weeks first, so those in new jobs will welcome such a right to help balance their bank balances and caring responsibilities,” said Tracey Hudson, executive director at HRDept.
The bill has support across party lines and is expected to pass, but there is no timeline for when this may happen. The lack of pushback bodes well for the future of flexible working, which has an even more promising future when government entities throw their support behind the concept.