Changes to flexible working regulations
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My ref: EO/29
10 April 2014
Circular No. NP/074/14
TO: THE SECRETARY
ALL BRANCHES & REGIONAL COUNCILS
REGIONAL ORGANISERS AND OFFICES
CHANGES TO FLEXIBLE WORKING REGULATIONS
Currently the right to request flexible working is only available to those with children under the age of 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) and certain carers for the purpose of looking after their dependants. On 30th June 2014 the Flexible Working Regulations will be amended and this right will be extended to cover all employees who have 26 week’s service. Employees will be able to request flexible working for any reason, not purely for caring responsibilities, and the employer will have to consider all requests in a “reasonable manner”.
Whilst opening up flexible working to all employers may be perceived as a benefit, the regulations have been changed to remove the statutory procedure for considering requests and there still is no right for it to be granted. Employers still may refuse requests on business grounds and even when an arrangement has been approved in the past, employers can backtrack and remove them again. It remains the same that only one application can be made in a 12 months period which is an unnecessary limit when people’s situations can change beyond their control more than once a year.
Please note that the RMT leaflet “Know Your Rights: Part-time, Flexible Working and Carer Responsibilities” should no longer be used after 30 June 2014.
Acting General Secretary