Acas Updates Code of Practice on Flexible Working

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Following recent changes to the law and a consultation last year, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has updated its statutory Code of Practice on requests for flexible working, replacing the previous version published in June 2014.

From 6 April, employees have a right to request to work flexibly from the first day of their employment. Previously, employees only had this right once they had worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks.

The updated Code encourages employers to take a positive approach to working flexibly. Employers must handle every request for flexible working in a reasonable manner, and must agree to a request unless there is a genuine business reason not to. An employee must be consulted before their request is rejected.

It is important that employers ensure they comply with the Code, as any failure to do so can be taken into account by Employment Tribunals where relevant.

Acas also provides detailed guidance on flexible working requests to accompany the Code, including practical examples for employers and employees. The Code and the accompanying guidance can be found on Acas’s website.