Supporting Employees Who Are Parents: Flexible working requests

In the UK, parents have the right to request flexible working arrangements in order to balance work and family commitments. This right extends to anyone who has worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks and is not restricted to biological parents, but also includes adoptive parents and legal guardians. Flexible working arrangements can include changes to working hours, working location, and job sharing arrangements…

flexible working

Employees are entitled to make one flexible working request per year, and employers must consider these requests in a timely and reasonable manner. If the request is approved, the employer must make the necessary changes to the employee’s contract and ensure that the new arrangements are implemented effectively.

If the request is denied, the employer must provide a clear explanation for the decision and work with the employee to find alternative solutions that meet the needs of both the employee and the business.

It is important for employers to recognise the benefits of flexible working for both the employee and the company.

Research has shown that flexible working arrangements can improve employee productivity, reduce absenteeism, and increase employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, offering flexible working arrangements can help employers attract a wider pool of talent and increase diversity within their workforce.

Employers should ensure that their policies and procedures regarding flexible working are clear and transparent, and that they communicate these to all employees.

This can include providing training to managers and supervisors on how to handle flexible working requests and manage flexible teams effectively. Employers should also ensure that they have the necessary technology and infrastructure in place to support flexible working arrangements, such as remote working software and flexible meeting scheduling.

It is important for employers to recognise that flexible working is not just a benefit for parents, but can also be valuable for employees without children, such as those with caring responsibilities for elderly or disabled relatives.

Employers should be open to considering flexible working requests from all employees, regardless of their family status.

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