MILLIONS of workers will be able to request flexible working from day one of job
Workers were promised that new measures will give them greater access to flexibility over where, when, and how they work
Millions of workers will be able to request flexible working from day one of their employment, under new Government plans.
Ministers have spelt out a range of flexible working options, including job-sharing, flexitime, and working compressed, annualised, or staggered hours.
Workers were promised that new measures will give them greater access to flexibility over where, when, and how they work.
Flexible working has been found to help employees balance their work and home life, especially supporting those who have commitments or responsibilities such as caring for children or vulnerable people, the Government said.
The announcement comes alongside new laws coming into effect that will allow the lowest paid to work for different employers.
Small business minister Kevin Hollinrake said: “Giving staff more say over their working pattern makes for happier employees and more productive businesses. Put simply, it’s a no-brainer.
“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.”
Workers on contracts with a guaranteed weekly income on or below the lower earnings limit of £123 a week will now be protected from exclusivity clauses being enforced against them, which restricted them from working for multiple employers.
The Government said its reforms will ensure around 1.5 million low-paid employees can work multiple short-term contracts, benefitting people such as students or those with caring responsibilities.
If an employer cannot accommodate a request to work flexibly, they will be required to discuss alternative options before they can reject the request.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said it had been a year since a consultation on flexible working closed and people were “tired of waiting for action.
She added: “Flexible working should be available to everyone. It’s how we keep mums in work, close the gender pay gap and give dads more time with their kids, and it’s how we keep disabled workers, older workers and carers in their jobs.
“Allowing working people to ask for flexible working from their first day in a job would be a small step in the right direction, but we’d like the Government to go much further to ensure that flexible work now becomes the norm.
“Ministers must change the law so that every job advert makes clear what kind of flexible working is available in that role, and they should give workers the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job – not just the right to ask.”
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