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Government announces new start date for flexible working rights

06 Mar 2014

The Government has announced that the right to request flexible working arrangements will now be extended to all employees with effect from 30 June 2014, following a previous delay to the Children and Families Bill earlier this year.

Currently, qualifying carers of adults and all parents of children aged 16 or under (or disabled children under 18), who have had 26 weeks of continuous employment with the same employer, are legally entitled to make a statutory application to their employer for flexible working arrangements, such as working from home or flexitime.

However, under the Children and Families Act all employees will gain the right to request flexible working arrangements. The changes were originally due to come into effect on 6 April, but will now take effect from 30 June 2014.

While the 26 week qualifying period will be retained, the statutory procedure for considering requests is set to be repealed and replaced with a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable timeframe. Businesses may still reject claims for flexible working if there are legitimate business grounds, as defined by legislation.