UK rolls out new initiative for flexible work

In a new government initiative to make flexible working the default, employees in the UK will have more control over when, where, and how they work.
By: | December 6, 2022

The UK government has announced plans to make flexible working the default option for millions of employees from day one of their employment.

As stated by the government in a statement, flexible working is not limited to working from home and at the office. It also includes job-sharing, flexitime, and working compressed, annualised, and staggered hours.

The new measures will provide employees with greater flexibility over where, when, and how they work, leading to increased employee satisfaction and productivity. Employees have been found to benefit from flexible working by being able to balance work and home life, particularly those with responsibilities or commitments such as caring for children or vulnerable people.

Under the new initiative, employers will have to consider alternative options before rejecting a request for flexible work hours if they are unable to accommodate the request. In an event that is not possible to change an employee’s working hours on all days, they may consider changing them for certain days instead.

The new legislation, backed by the government’s response to the Making flexible working the default consultation, will also remove the requirement for employees to set out the effects of their flexible working requests to employers, thus relieving both sides of the administrative burden.

READ: Is the UK ready to embrace the four-day workweek?

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Small Business, said, “Giving staff more say over their working pattern makes for happier employees and more productive businesses. Greater flexibility over where, when, and how people work is an integral part of our plan to make the UK the best place in the world to work.”