Acas have released a draft code of practice in anticipation of the upcoming changes to flexible working requests.
It is important to note that this is only in draft format and consultation is taking place. Once the final version is released; a failure to follow the Code does not, in itself, make a person or organisation liable to legal proceedings. However, employment tribunals will take the Code into account when considering relevant cases.
Here are some expected changes to how flexible working requests are managed in the future:
- Instead of requiring an employee to have 26 weeks’ service before making a flexible working request and only one request per year, employees will be able to make a request from day one of employment and they will also be able to make two requests in any 12-month period.
- Employees will no longer be required to explain how they think any effect of their flexible working request could be dealt with by their employer.
- Employers will be required to consult with employees before they reject a flexible working request. This is the advice we always give to schools so this should not be seen as a change.
- Employers will be required to approve or reject the request within two months. At the moment employers must consider any flexible working request within a ‘reasonable manner’ and make a decision within three months (or longer if agreed with the employee). Some school policies may be stricter on this so we always check the policy too.
To view the draft code of practice, please follow the link: Code of Practice on handling requests for flexible working (draft) | Acas