The UK Government announced in December that millions of workers will be able to request flexible working from day one of employment.

After calling on the UK Government to make flexible working a day one right to request since February 2021 through our #Flexfrom1st campaign, we are delighted to see this proposed policy change.

Currently, employees must wait until they’ve been in a job for six months (26 weeks) before they can make a flexible working request. The proposed change will allow millions of people to enjoy the benefits of flexible working from the start of their employment.

UK Government consultation

In September, the CIPD responded to the UK Government’s flexible working consultation. To help inform the response, evidence was cited from seven regional member focus groups across the UK along with data from a YouGov survey of over 1,000 senior HR and organisation decision-makers. The data found that 57% were in favour of the day-one right to request and overall the CIPD responded positively to the consultation, providing key recommendations to help create fairer more inclusive flexible working practices.

Our continued work around flexible working 

Our CEO, Peter Cheese continues to co-chair the Flexible Working Taskforce with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which incorporates a range of stakeholders including business lobby organisations, professional bodies, unions and key charities.  The main purpose of the Taskforce has been to develop evidence and understanding of the most effective ways to increase flexible working provision and develop policies and practices that will support employers and workers to adapt to new ways of working. 

Peter has also been asked to contribute to a new commission on Hybrid and Remote work, which will examine and make recommendations on how Government can respond to the rise in hybrid and remote working to the advantage of people, communities, and the economy.

We also have a range of resources to support employers with their flexible working provisions and needs.

About the author

Claire McCartney, Senior Policy Adviser, Resourcing and Inclusion

Claire specialises in the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion, flexible working, resourcing and talent management. She has also conducted research into meaning and trust at work, age diversity, workplace carers and enterprise and has worked on a number of international projects. She is the author of several reports and articles and regularly presents at seminars and conferences.

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