In order to introduce it successfully, there are legal requirements that need to be taken into consideration:
- Every employee in the UK has the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks of employment
- Managers should consider all formal proposals fairly; they are not obliged to grant approval
- Employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting any request
- Flexible working may not be suitable for every job, e.g. a receptionist may need to be present all day to receive visitors at the office
- Employees can only make one request in any 12-month period
- Arrangements should be reviewed and updated as the needs change, at least annually
We also recommend the following steps to make it a smooth transition that will bring benefits to your business:
• Make flexible working optional – not a requirement. It isn’t for everyone, therefore if you offer it purely as an optional working arrangement, you won’t force anyone into doing something they are uncomfortable with.
• Promote your flexible working culture to clients. The fact you actively encourage flexible working is a great marketing tool, so make sure you shout loud and proud about it to clients.
• Make it clear you offer flexible working arrangements in job adverts and during interviews. Modern employees are looking for flexible working arrangements, therefore any job descriptions for available roles need to make it clear that you actively promote flexibility in the workplace so that you attract the best talent.
• Start with a pilot scheme. Fine-tune your policy over the first three to six months. Make it clear from the outset things may change if necessary to business needs. Encourage feedback from managers and staff. Review the policy regularly and make necessary tweaks to ensure it continues to run smoothly.
If it all sounds like a lot of hard work, remember that well implemented flexible working will not only actively promote an attractive work culture – it will go a long way towards helping you to stand out among your business competitors.
If you would like to talk to us about implementing flexible working into your business, we would love to help. Call us on 0207 9203 9290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.