Portal Business Centres
Office Solutions for Growing Businesses

Flexible Working Regulations – Know the Facts

flexible_working_pictureFrom 30th June 2014 the law changed with regards to flexible working, meaning that now employees who have been with a company for more than 26 weeks have the right to request flexible working hours. Moreover, in line with the new legislation, employers now have a legal obligation to answer and deal with the request in a reasonable manner, and furthermore should the answer be no, the employer now has a legal obligation to provide a valid reason as to why they said no.*

With the costs of childcare in the UK spiralling, flexible working hours has long been a contentious issue. Previously parents of children under 16 and registered carers of both adults and children had a right to request it, but with the Government striving to help families achieve that elusive work/life balance, this new law means that anyone has the right to ask for this.

Flexible working can refer to many different options:

• Part time
• Flexi time
• Job sharing
• Working from home/remotely
• Compressed hours (i.e. working the hours of five days over four days)
• Term time working (using annual or unpaid leave in school holidays)

With so many options available to employers to help with flexible working, Sallie Maskrey, Director, Portal Business Centres, thinks that the decision to refuse should not be taken lightly.

“Traditionally we are a country which works 9am – 5pm, however these hours originated from bankers’ hours, and many businesses now operate outside these parameters. It makes sense therefore for employers to take a sensible look at what other options are available rather than simply having someone sitting behind a desk all day. Many companies now look to places like Portal Business Centres where, for a small daily fee, they can set up employees at a “hot desk”, allowing them to work from an office which may be closer to home, but they still have everything they need to work effectively.”

“Video conferencing facilities means that people don’t physically need to travel to a head office if it’s some distance away, saving companies both time and money, and services such as flexible telephone answering offers employers the option of us answering their calls on “as needed” basis, perhaps covering times when some employees are off to cover school holidays.”

Sallie continued, “There is a very talented and skilled workforce here in the UK but it is all too often going untapped if, for example, mothers choose not to return to work as they have no holiday time childcare. If employees look at the benefits these people would bring to their business, in terms of experience and skill sets, they may find that offering flexible working would actually be more profitable and effective for them in the long run.”

For more information on Portal Business Centres services, please visit the website at www.portalbusinesscentres.co.uk or contact the team on 0845 456 4592.

* Source: www.bbc.co.uk – Business “Flexible Working Rights for All – Could They Backfire?” 30th June 2014

 

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