Changes to the law on flexible working

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 makes some significant changes to law and will apply to applications made on or after 6 April 2024.

Flexible working can refer to working patterns or hours, including part time, flexitime, term time, compressed hours and adjusting start and finish times. The place of work can also be considered, such as working from home or hybrid working.

What’s new?

  • Employers must consult with their employee before rejecting a flexible working request.
  • The outcome to a flexible working request must be given within two months of receiving the request.
  • Two flexible working requests can be made within a 12-month period.
  • Employees are no longer required to explain what effect their request will have on the employer or how the impact might be dealt with.

With the CIPD estimating that around 4 million people have changed careers because of a lack of flexibility at work, it is important to incorporate the changing landscape when it comes to the workforce.

The Acas Code of Practice provides information on handling statutory requests for flexible working and has been updated to reflect the new law: Code of Practice on requests for flexible working | Acas

How we can help

We have updated our Flexible Working Policy which is part of our template Staff Handbook in line with the changes which is available for NFU Employment Service members. You should review any of your existing Policies that you have and update as necessary. If you need any guidance on this, NFU Employment Service members can call our Helpline and we can advise you on your options. As part of our consultancy service, we are also able to draft a Flexible Working Policy or provide a review of your existing Policy for your business (fees apply).