New flexible working rules

Government plans to introduce new rights for employees to request flexible working from day one of employment have been welcomed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).  

The measures aim to empower workers to have a greater say over where, when and how they work by removing the 26-week qualifying period before employees can request flexible working. The new rules cover job-sharing, flexitime, and working compressed, annualised or staggered hours, as well as the option to work from a combination of the office and home. 

Minister for Small Business Kevin Hollinrake said there was a strong business case for flexible working and described the move as a “no-brainer.” He also said that providing staff with more say over working patterns would make for “happier employees and more productive businesses” adding that studies have shown flexible working leads to improved financial returns. 

Responding to the announcement, CIPD Chief Executive Peter Cheese said, “This new right will help normalise conversations about flexibility at the start of the employment relationship, with significant benefits for employees in terms of wellbeing and work-life balance. Just as importantly, it will also enable organisations to attract and retain a more diverse workforce and help boost their productivity and agility.”