Working from home, furlough, unpaid leave – they’ve opened our eyes to the possibility of working differently.
Whether it’s a short term request or a longer term arrangement it’s likely there’ll be plenty of flexible working requests heading your way. Here are our top five suggestions to responding to requests:
- Be proactive – if you’ve identified opportunities to work differently whilst remaining productive and possibly saving on expense, make the first move.
- Understand your legal rights – only those employees with 26 weeks’ service at the point of the request have the right to ask for changes (and only if they haven’t already made a request for flexibility in the previous 12 months). You’ll need to comply with the Flexible Working Regulations, in particular by dealing with the request within three months. Click here for guidance on managing a flexible working request.
- It doesn’t have to be all or nothing – consider with the employee alternatives they may not have thought about, short term and long term options, and trial periods with built in flexibility to give you time to establish whether the new arrangement works for both of you. Whatever you agree, capture it in writing.
- Up to date policies – think data security, home working, company property to name a few.
- Employee management – from risk assessments so you can check a home working environment is safe, adjusting targets, challenges around driving performance, and alternatives to usual communication – they’ll all need thinking about carefully if you’re going to make sure that the new flexibility means continued productivity and team commitment.
We’ve created a ‘back to work guidance note’ to support you in comprehensive detail through the employment law issues, considerations and risk factors in returning back to work (including advice on managing flexible working requests). Click here if you’d like to find out more and purchase a copy.
This update is accurate on the date it was sent (27 May 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.