What Employees Need to Know
You may have heard about the upcoming changes to employment in the UK. Currently, only parents of children aged 16 or under, or disabled children under the age of eighteen have the right to apply to work more flexibly. Furthermore, they are only able to make this request after having worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously before making the application, must not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months.
However, as of the 30th of June 2014, all UK employees will gain the right to request flexible working after 26 weeks’ service, rather than only those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and those with other caring responsibilities.
But what does this really mean? Here are a few of your top questions answered
What counts as flexible working?
Many different modes of working can be described as flexible employment. These include:
Job sharing: This usually means two people being employed in the same role and job and splitting the hours.
Working from home: This is when the employee does some (or all) of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.
Part time: This refers to any arrangement involving working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).
Compressed hours: This means working full-time hours but over fewer days than normal.
Flexitime: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits). Usually, the employee will have previously agreed ‘core hours’.
Annualised hours: The employee is required to undertake a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work.
Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.
Phased retirement: Now that the previous default retirement age has been phased out, older workers have more choice over their employment. This means that they might reduce their hours or work part-time.
Does the new flexible working legislation guarantee that I can work flexibly?
No, as there are reasons that your employer can use to turn down your request for flexible. However, in rejecting your request they must provide
For what reasons can my employer turn down my request for flexible working?
There are several reasons why your employer may turn down your request for flexible working. For example:
- Implementing flexible working may involve extra costs which would be detrimental to the business
- Flexibility would not allow the business to meet customer demand
- It is not possible for the work to be reorganised among other staff
- It is not possible for people to be recruited to do the work
- Flexible working arrangements would have an effect on quality and performance
- There is insufficient work to do during the proposed working times
- The business is in the process of planning changes to the workforce
Where should I go to get more information on flexible working?
Flexiworkforce is set to launch soon, and will be one of the few UK online jobsites specifically dedicated to matching workers with exciting opportunities to fit flexibly around their needs and life commitments. Follow us today for updates!