Navigating the New Norms of Flexible Working

April 6th, 2024, marked significant changes in the world of flexible working arrangements, and if you employ people these changes will affect you!

What has changed?

Gone are the days of waiting 26 weeks to request flexibility at work as employees now have the right to request flexible working arrangements from day one of employment – this change applies to all employees, not just parents and carers.

As an employer, you are now required to respond within two months of receiving a request instead of three, and if you cannot accommodate the flexible working arrangements, you must consult with your employee before rejecting.

The employee no longer needs to explain the effect of the flexible working request on your organisation and how it could be overcome, and you cannot dismiss or cause detriment to the employee because of their request.

You must reasonably manage flexible working requests and can only reject a request for one of eight business reasons. You can check the reasons for rejecting a request here.

Why should you offer flexible working?

Offering flexible working arrangements can benefit both employees and employers. Here are a few examples:


  • Improved work-life balance
  • Improved happiness and job satisfaction
  • Improved health and wellbeing
  • Access to more jobs
  • Saving money
  • Greater employee engagement


  • Attract and retain staff
  • Increased productivity for employees
  • Increased happiness and motivation for employees
  • Improved diversity and inclusivity
  • The ability to recruit for roles that are hard to fill
  • Cost efficiency – reduced office space, travel costs, overheads
  • Reduced absence rates

There are different types of flexible working arrangements, some are more popular than others, but employees and employers can agree to any that suit their needs.

Some of the most common examples:

  • Part-time
  • Hybrid/Remote
  • Flexitime
  • Job sharing

As the world of working continues to evolve, so should your business operations. With an increasing number of employees prioritising flexibility in their work arrangements, the demand for a better work-life balance continues to shape workplace trends. To stay ahead of the curve, it’s important to embrace agility and adaptability, ensuring that your business remains responsive to the changing needs and expectations of your employees.

If you’re looking for help developing a policy to promote the changes to flexible working, contact Rob.

This newsletter does not constitute legal advice.

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