The Flexible Working Regulations 2014 were laid before parliament yesterday and come into force on 30th June.
They extend the right to make a request for flexible working to any employee who has been employed for 26 weeks (not just parents of children under 17, or 18 if disabled, and certain carers – as was previously the case).
The basic right to request is unchanged. Employees can make up to one written request every year, the employer needs to deal with it within three months, and can refuse on any of eight (very wide) business grounds. A tribunal cannot normally investigate the rights and wrongs of the refusal, only whether the procedure has been properly followed. Maximum compensation for a failure to comply is eight weeks’ pay (currently capped at £464 per week).