Employment law update

On 21 July 2023, the UK Government announced that millions of British workers will have more flexibility over where and when they work, thanks to a new Flexible Working Bill that has reached Royal Assent. 

Alongside the Bill, the government announced that secondary legislation will give workers the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job – something we’ve been campaigning for since February 2021. 

The new legislation is set to come into effect in 2024. In the meantime, there’s no need to wait: we encourage all employers to start offering the right to request flexibility, from day one of employment, right away. The resources highlighted on this page will guide you every step of the way - whether you're based in the UK or not.

Flexible working

Greater equality though flexible working

Right to request from day
1

Instead of after 26 weeks

Right to request twice in 12
months

Instead of once only

Exclusivity protection for 1.5
million

Restrictions eased for low paid workers

Our #Flexfrom1st campaign

Our #Flexfrom1st campaign aimed to make access to flexible working arrangements more equal.

We encouraged employers to support flexible working for all and the right to request flexible working from day one of employment. We also called for change to UK law to make flexible working requests a day-one right for all employees (previous UK law stated employees could only request to work flexibly after 26 weeks of employment, with a limit of one request per 12 months).

While the COVID-19 pandemic saw huge increases in remote working, CIPD research found that 46% of UK employees did not have access to any form of flexible working in their current role, despite many different types of flexible working available. Those without access to flexible working were around twice as likely to be dissatisfied in their job, compared to those who do.

CIPD research also clearly identified the benefits of flexible working arrangements for employers and employees, from improved wellbeing and work–life balance to greater engagement and job performance.

Our glossary of flexible working terms explains what each type of flexible working arrangement means.

INFLUENCING PUBLIC POLICY

Celebrating
our success

Our campaign for flexible working, for everyone, from day one, reached its pinnacle when the UK's Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act, passed into law in July 2023. 

Callout Image

Explore our evidence base for flexible working

Reports
Flexible and hybrid working practices in 2023

Our research explores employer and employee perspectives of flexible and hybrid working practices and asks whether organisations are doing enough to meet employee demand

Guides
Flexible working: Cross-sector insights

Research-backed guidance with cross-sector examples on ways to implement flexible working

Guides
Flexible working: lessons from the pandemic: Practical guide

Use this guide to plan your flexible working approach in the short and long term following the COVID-19 pandemic

CIPD Viewpoint
Flexible working uptake

Explore the CIPD’s point of view on flexible working, including recommendations for employers

Explore all our insights on flexible working