Is Your Business Ready for Changes to Flexible Working?

Julian cole portrait.

Julian Cole

Senior Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411


April is a significant month in the world of employment law, each year bringing changes that employers must be ready to embrace.

Flexible working is one of the areas targeted by lawmakers in 2024. The regime, now well-established in workplaces everywhere, is about to take new shape. So, what do businesses need to know?

More People Will Be Eligible to Ask For Flexible Working

From 6 April 2024, any employee can request flexible working from their first day of employment. Employees won’t need to have built up 26 weeks’ service.

Employers Have Less Time to Respond

After an employee has written to their employer to request flexible working, the employer must accept or reject the request within two months (This used to be three months).

There’s a New Consultation Requirement

An employer mustn’t refuse a flexible working request before first having discussed the request with the employee.

Employees Don’t Need to Justify Their Request

Employees will no longer have to explain how the flexible working arrangement they’re proposing would work, or how they would reduce any negative impact.

Two Requests per 12 Months

Employees used to be restricted to making one request each year, but from April they will be able to make two.

These Changes Are to the Statutory Flexible Working Regime

There is nothing to stop any employee, at any time, making an informal request to change their hours, days or place of work. It’s important to treat all requests, in whatever form, fairly and reasonably. And where the statutory regime is concerned, to comply with the letter of the legislation. Enforced homeworking during the Covid pandemic challenged workplace norms. It showed employers and employees what is, and isn’t, workable when it comes to working hours, place of work, and the sharing of duties. So, employers shouldn’t fear the widening of the flexible working regime that is about to happen. While more requests will probably be made, they could lead to positive outcomes for businesses, as well as employees.

For advice on updating your policies to cater for the flexible working changes, or to find out about training your managers in dealing with requests, contact our team on or call on 01264 353411.

Go back

Expert Legal Support For All Your Legal Needs

Find out more about how we can help you in your circumstances by contacting us. You can call us on 01264 353411email us at or complete our online enquiry form.