Right to request flexible working now open to all
The Children and Families Act represents what could be one of the biggest changes to the working patterns. Given the Royal Assent last week, this Act gives any worker the right to request flexible working. The new law comes into effect in April with the right to work flexibly taking effect after 30th June 2014.
The requirement to be a carer, for a child under the age of 17 (or a disabled child) or other relatives, has now been removed. This means that any worker who has been employed for more than 6 months can request that they work flexibly. This will include reduced hours, job shares, home working or compressed hours.
The legislation which contains many other provisions relating to family matters also provides other employment rights such as the ability for mothers and fathers to share parental leave. Whilst this is not due to be implemented until April 2015, it will mean that parents can have time off together during the first year of a child’s life or arrange their time consecutively
As with other flexible working arrangements, this is a right to make the request, not a right for it to be granted and the same business considerations will apply when an employer considers the relevant request.