Flexible Working Requests
Since the pandemic began, more people have had to work from home than ever before. Whilst some may have previously worked remotely, others may not and will have had to adjust. It is likely though that as UK organisations return to work, more employees will want to keep some sort of flexibility in how they work.
But flexible working is not just about working from home. Currently, anyone is able to apply for flexible working if they have had 26 weeks continuous service and the requests include, job sharing going part time, working compressed hours, flexitime, working staggered hours or taking a phased retirement. As a business, you have an obligation to consider the request but can refuse if you have a legitimate reason for declining the request.
However, recent proposals may see flexible working requests becoming a day 1 right for all employees whilst restricting the reasons employers can give for declining a request and introducing a requirement for employers to offer an alternative if the employees request isn’t suitable. This will mean that employers will need to make extra adjustments to allow for more of these requests coming through whilst paying more attention to how they can allow flexibility through the organisation.
As lockdown has eased, businesses have had to carefully consider how best to manage the return to the office. Many organisations are currently developing and implementing plans for the transition.
Whatever the return will look like for your business, one thing that is clear is that ‘business as usual’ as we once knew it is off the cards. Hybrid working is likely to be the new ‘normal working’ for a lot of companies. The hybrid model, where working time is split between home working and office-based working, offers businesses and employees the freedom to strive to achieve the ‘ideal work-life’ balance. A working environment that offers employees the flexibility to plan their working week around their personal as well as professional lives, contributes greatly to better well-being which in turn results in greater productivity.
Ensuring a safe return to the office will be a challenge and the key to ensuring a smooth transition involves proper planning and communication with employees. Use this time to implement procedures and policies that will work for your business. We can help you with preparing and planning for hybrid working and implementing a hybrid working policy.
About Aspire HR
Headquartered in Cambridge, UK Aspire HR make Human Resources available and affordable to all companies no matter how small. Few businesses can afford a full time HR professional.
Aspire HR is your flexible HR manager; here to help you protect your business, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best – run your business. We help businesses to grow and be profitable, and we look to partner with you to build strong long-standing relationships.
Get in touch with our CIPD accredited HR Consultants today on 01223 855441.