Flexible Working Extension Delayed

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To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils

Circular no: NP/016/14
My ref: EO/29
28 January 2014


Dear Colleagues,

FLEXIBLE WORKING EXTENSION DELAYED

The right to request flexible working to all employees, not just those caring for a child or an adult in need of care, was due to start on 6 April 2014.  However it looks like this target date will be missed and no alternatives have yet been provided.

The legislation which extends the right to request flexible working is contained in the Children and Families Bill.  Whilst it is a welcome development that the right to request flexible working has been extended to employees, the Government is removing the statutory procedure through which employers consider flexible working requests.  Instead of deadlines which, if missed, could be enforced through the Tribunal system, employers in the future will simply have to deal with requests in a “reasonable manner” and “within a reasonable time”.

The new extended right will be accompanied by an ACAS statutory code of practice and guidance.

Until the necessary legislation is passed, the current position remains the same as that in the enclosed leaflet “Know Your Rights – Part-time, Flexible Working and Carer Responsibilities”.  If you would like more copies, please contact the Equal Rights Officer (j.webb@rmt.org.uk).

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow
General Secretary