The new Flexible Working Act has become part of the law, achieving Royal Assent this week. This landmark legislation will benefit millions of working individuals in the UK, providing more flexibility about when and where they work.
The act, first championed by MP Yasmin Qureshi, makes it now possible for all workers to request flexible working arrangements from day one on a new job rather than the previous 26 weeks of service. Employers must also carefully consider these requests before making a decision and are not allowed to reject these outright. These requests can include changes in working patterns, flexi-time, and compressed working hours. It also offers workers the chance to request where they work, offering the chance for more choices in working remotely and having shorter commute times.
In addition to day-one flexibility requests, every employee in the UK can now have up to two flexible working requests per year. Previously this was restricted to one request per year, and the time for a response from an employer has dropped from three months to two months.
The passing of this act and change in legislation will benefit not only many workers across the UK but also UK businesses as well. Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has shown that companies that utilise flexible working attract more potential employees, have higher morale, and reduce turnover – all things that can help a company to grow and succeed.
The bill’s passing also signifies a fundamental shift towards a more democratic, flexible working culture and environment. As well as removing the restrictions many would have faced from attempting to go for new roles, for parents, those with health conditions, and others who may have found it challenging to adhere to a standard work schedule, there are now many new opportunities.
A Fully Flexible Employer
At Virtalent, we have always believed in the power of flexibility to shape the future of work. This new legislation fundamentally reinforces many of our business principles and mirrors our approach to flexible working. As well as our team of freelance remote Virtual Assistants, we are a fully flexible employer, and all of our team work remotely. We believe that flexibility and choice expand opportunities for those with valuable skills and talent who may have been excluded from working. It also provides a much better opportunity for a work-life balance, leading to better working conditions and better health. Find out more about working for Virtalent and learn more about how flexible working works for us.