Flexible Working: ACAS Code of Practice

The updated Code of Practice on Flexible Working is currently awaiting parliamentary approval. If passed, the new law will come into effect from 6 April 2024. Employers should note there are some key changes to the formal process.

The Code relates to the statutory right to request flexible working as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 (as amended) and regulations made under it. It provides guidance for employers and employees on their responsibilities, legal rights, and good practice in making and handling statutory requests for flexible working.

What is Flexible Working?

Flexible working can consist of any work arrangement which meets the needs of both the employee and the employer with regards to where, when, and how an employee will work. Some examples could include: –

• Compressed hours over fewer days.
• Reduce hours to part-time.
• Flexitime e.g. flexibility with start and finish time.
• Remote working.
• Hybrid working.
• Term-Time only working.
• Job Sharing with another colleague.

If an employee makes a statutory request for flexible working, then the employer must follow this Code of Practice. However, arrangements can also be agreed informally without following the statutory procedure. Guildford HR recommends that if you agree on a change to ways of working informally that this is confirmed in writing.

We recommend training managers on how to respond and deal with flexible working requests to ensure that the organisation is compliant under the Equality Act 2010.

Who can request Flexible Working?

All employees have a statutory right to make a request for flexible working and if approved the new Code will allow an employee to make a request from the first day, of employment.
What are the benefits?

There can be many benefits when an organisation invests in flexible working such as: –

• Improving retention and recruitment.
• Helps employers address workforce and skills shortages.
• Can help employees have a better work/life balance.
• Make employment more accessible.
• Improve health and wellbeing.

If you would like further guidance on flexible working or training, then please contact us on 01483 362732 or hello@guildford-hr.co.uk