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Flexible Working is Changing from April 2024

Published 4th March 2024 by GMB EMAS

The government has announced that the new flexible working regulations will come into effect on 6 April 2024, giving employees the right to request flexible working arrangements from day one of employment. 

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023, laid before parliament on 11 December, will apply to applications made on or after 6 April 2024.

Under the current law, workers have to have been employed for at least 26 weeks before making a request to work flexibly. 

‘Flexible working’ can refer to working patterns or hours, including part-time, flexi-time, term time, compressed hours and adjusting start and finish times, as well as location; for example, working from home.

What are the new regulations?

The regulations are part of wider changes made in the Act, which gained royal assent in July, and which are also expected to come into force in April. 

Workers will benefit from the following new protections once in force:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request.
  • Permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period (rather than the current one request).
  • Reduced waiting times for decisions to be made (within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months.
  • The removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with.

How do I apply for flexible working?

You should first contact your local GMB rep to discuss your flexible working options. This will allow them to support you through your application.

You then apply for flexible working via ESR, and your line manager will then contact you to organise a stage 1 meeting to discuss your application.

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