Employment Advice (For Business)

Flexible Working from Day One

Over the past 18 months, many employers who had previously been opposed to flexible working have had no choice but to get to grips with different ways of working. Compressed or split hours, working from home and adjusted working hours have become the norm, at least in many office-based sectors.

28 Sep 2021

Team name
Esther Marshall

Esther Marshall

We are now seeing a gradual return to the office, and many employers are now adopting “hybrid” policies under which employees can split their time between home and the office. However, flexible working is nothing new. Pre-pandemic, any employee with more than 6 months’ service had the right to request flexible working, regardless of whether they are a carer or parent.

There are now signs that the Government is considering extending the right to request flexible working to “day one” employees. The Department of Business has been looking at flexible working since 2019 and the consultation paper expected to be released imminently will look at “day one” rights. It is also expected to consider measures to force employers to respond to flexible working request more quickly, and to have to explain why any requests are refused.

The move would be supported both by the Labour party and by the TUC, whose General Secretary has said that flexible working from day one “should be a right”.

Given that employers have been forced to incorporate flexible working during the pandemic, and will have found that employees are often more productive when working flexibly, it is to be hoped that the proposed changes will not be as daunting for employers as they may have seemed before the first lockdown.

M&P Commentary

Esther Marshall, a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Dispute Resolution team, said:

“Flexible working requests were traditionally thought to relate only to employees wishing to go part time. However, flexible working can encompass other changes to working hours, as well as changes of location. Requests do not have to be agreed, however employers must give them proper consideration and there must be a valid reason to refuse a request – “We don’t do that” will not suffice. If you are an employer and need some advice about how to deal with flexible working requests, we can guide you through the necessary steps to make sure your decision stands up to scrutiny.”

OUR CLIENTS SAY ABOUT US

Ranked highly in Romford and Brentwood for solicitor firms

Trusts and Probate
We would like to thank Anne and Manzurul for helping to make our probate application go smoothly and efficiently. We found the process very professional.
M McDermott
Wills
From start to finish our needs were handled with all due care and attention to detail.
Anonymous
Residential Property
Svetlana at Mullis & Peake recently handled our divorce transactions and house purchase, no fuss, straight forward advice, great communication and handled efficiently.
Mcdocat
Residential Property
Trusts and Probate
Excellent service and very good advice on both recent matters. Mullis & Peake have acted for our family for many years and have proved very professional on each occasion
Terry
Residential Property
Mullis & Peake dealt with both the sale and purchase for my mum's properties. Paul is professional, helpful and efficient. Explained all the processes in a timely manner. Top quali...
Jenny
Family
I've found the service I've received at Mullis and Peake to be courteous, professional and highly recommendable.
Carole
Family
Special thanks to Roisin McCorry for her professionalism, resolve, patience, and the support she provided during this very difficult time.
Richard
Dispute resolution
Extremely satisfied with service received from Mullis & Peake. I would thoroughly recommend their service as they were recommended to me.
Paul

Related News insights

Commercial Disputes, Legal, Business, Contract Disputes & Debt Recovery, Debt Recovery
Start the new tax year with better debt recovery processes
Family & Divorce, Legal, Divorce, Family law
No more blame but challenges remain for divorcing couples
Dispute Resolution, Legal, Landlord & Tenant (Residential)
Assured Shorthold Tenancies: A guide to the Section 21 Procedure
Legal, Wills & Power of Attorney, Wills
Wills validity challenges in the news