Flexible working move ‘helpful’

A leading figure at a national construction organisation has welcomed the introduction of a new right to request flexible working for all employees with at least 26 weeks’ service.

Construction Manager, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building, reported on 1 July 2014 that Paul Boggle, policy manager at the National Federation of Builders, had described the move as “helpful in principle”.

He added: “It could send a message to people outside the industry that construction is not purely a site-based occupation. Clearly, flexible working can only apply to office jobs, [within the construction sector] so it highlights the fact that there are many other non-site roles and professions in the industry that are open to a diverse and talented range of people”.

“It’s important to note that that this is a ‘right to request’, not a ‘right to receive’ flexible working. Workers will need to consider carefully their own job situation, and how it might impact on them and their employer. It will need to be handled on a case-by-case basis”.

The new right to request flexible working came into force on 30 June 2014. All employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more now have the right to ask if they can work flexibly, something that had previously only applied to parents with children under the age of 17, or 18 for a disabled child, and certain carers.

Meanwhile workplace relations expert Acas has published a new Code of Practice and guidance on the right to request flexible working, to help employers consider requests in a reasonable way, manage them fairly and stay within the law.

Palmers’ employment law specialists can provide expert guidance on how the new right to request flexible working could affect employers. We also offer an HR package which includes regularly updated sample policies for matters such as flexible working.

For more information about our employment law services or our HR package, please contact Lara Murray.