In April 2003, the UK Government first introduced the Right to Request flexible working for parents and certain other carers. The Right included requesting a change to work
location, number of working hours and the associated working pattern. That Right was extended in 2014 to all employees with 26 weeks continuous service.

The statutory framework was intended to:

  • provide employees with access to contractual flexible working;
  • help employees to better reconcile their work and non-work lives; and
  • help employers to secure the business benefits of flexible working.

The Government’s 2019 manifesto committed to encourage flexible working and consult on making it the default unless employers have good reasons not to. The manifesto
was clear that the Government could do more to make things easier for those balancing work with caring and other commitments.

This consultation sets out five proposals for reshaping the existing regulatory framework so that it better supports the objective of making flexible working the default. The
intention is to better support employees to start the conversation about contract changes, and employers to respond.

It considers:

  • making the Right to Request Flexible Working a day one right;
  • whether the eight business reasons for refusing a Request all remain valid;
  • requiring the employer to suggest alternatives;
  • the administrative process underpinning the Right to Request Flexible Working; and
    requesting a temporary arrangement

You can find more information about the consultation here. The deadline to respond is the 1st December 2021 and we will hosting a call for HR Community members to join and feed-in to the BRC's response on 11th November at 2pm