When the law changed last year flexible working became available for all employees providing they met the minimum criteria of being continuously employed for 26 weeks or more. An employee would then be able to apply to have a request to work flexibly considered. Flexible working can be considered as a change of working pattern to include days, location of working – for instance at home or at another business location – or term time working. Only one application can be made to request a flexible working pattern within a 12-month period but an employee no longer has to link the request to the caring of another person be it an adult or child. This will now of course have increased the range and number of requests being made by employees to employers.
What are the benefits of being able to offer flexible working?
There are many business cases that point in the direction of an employer that it is a strategic tool to offer to employees leading to them going beyond the legal requirements. Flexible working can of course benefit you as a business owner as well as your employees.
- Offering different shift patterns that enables businesses to work 24/7
- It is proven that if employees have a working pattern that fits with their personal commitments they are more committed to their employer
- Employees are attracted more to employers that can offer flexibility and supporting employees in achieving a good work life balance can become a big part of a brand identity for an employer.
- Job share opportunities can allow for employment of two different skill sets that complement each other in the same role.
Flexible working needs to be seen as a positive choice and to be supported by not only a business but by its managers and employees too.
Does your business operate flexible working? If you currently don’t offer this to your employees and are looking to consider this option the Forum will be able to guide you as a member through the process.
Why is there a Flexible Working Awareness Day?
Businesses on 6th May 2015 want to be recognised as endorsing flexibility for their employees and to show how flexible working works for them and the many advantages it gives. Many businesses like to empower their employees to achieve their potential as by doing so the business can benefit and offering flexibility to employees offers benefits on both sides. Remembering this will also highlight to employers and business owners the enormous commercial benefits of providing flexible working and the substantial contribution to the UK economy.
As with all employment issues, we advise you seek insured legal advice before taking action. Forum members are reminded to call our business advice team on 0845 130 1722 for further assistance, to ensure your business remains protected.