Acas publishes Code Of Practice on new flexible working law

Workplace expert Acas has issued its new statutory Code of Practice on requests for flexible working alongside accompanying guidance.

It follows changes to the law earlier this month (April 6th) which means that all employees have the right to ask their employer if they can work flexibly from their first day of employment. This right previously only applied if employees worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more. 

Acas Chief Executive Susan Clews said: “There has been a global shift to flexible working following the pandemic, which has allowed more people to better balance their working lives, and employers have also benefitted from being an attractive place to work.

“Our new Code aims to foster flexible working further and covers the new law changes. It sets out good practice on flexible working requests and will help employers and employees avoid any pitfalls.

“There are many types of flexible working such as part-time working, flexitime, job sharing, staggered hours, hybrid and homeworking. The starting position for businesses should be to consider what may be possible.”

The new Code of Conduct covers the new changes to the law around statutory flexible working requests. These are:

  • a new right to request flexible working from the first day of employment
  • allowing an employee to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period rather than one
  • a new requirement that an employer must not reject a request without consulting the employee first
  • employers now having two months to decide on the request rather than 3 months

Acas has also published new detailed guidance to accompany the Code, which provides practical examples for employers and employees on flexible working requests.

You can discover the Acas flexible working Code of Conduct, as well as advice and templates here.

Last month Acas published a survey which found that 70% of employees were not aware that the law was changing to make it easier to request flexible working. The YouGov poll was conducted in January and also found that 43% of employers were unaware of the law change.

To read more about Creating A Flexible Working Environment, click here.

To read about Supporting Employees Around Religion & Beliefs: Creating Flexible Working Conditions, click here.

For advice on Supporting Parents Who Are Employees: Flexible Working Conditions, click here.

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

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