Employers are reminded that from 30 June 2014, all employees will have the right to request flexible working.
Currently, flexible working is only available for employees with caring responsibility for children aged 16 or under or adults who are relatives or who live at the same address as the employee. Employers have to follow a detailed statutory process for dealing with and responding to a request.
However, as a result of the revamp of the flexible working regime, the right to request flexible working will be opened up to any employee with at least 26 weeks service. Employers will need to deal with the request in a “reasonable manner” and the purpose of the request and the desire or need for flexible working is irrelevant. The request can only be rejected on a limited number of identified grounds.
The penalty for failure to comply and deal with the request reasonably could be up to eight weeks pay, which is the statutory cap.
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