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28th August 2014

How would you consider a flexible working request?

Work life balance choicesIt’s almost two months since the statutory right to request flexible working was extended to all employees, provided they have 26 week’s continuous service and have not made another request to work flexibly within the previous 12 months. ‘We know all about flexible working!’ I hear you shout. Yes, it has been a very topical subject, particularly in more recent months, but it seems that not everyone is complying with the flexible working directive changes!

Turning a blind eye to flexible working

New research undertaken by Sage UK has revealed that a third of small businesses are breaking new employee rights by turning a blind eye to flexible working. In the care sector we try to ensure this is done fairly, and whilst you may not have received any requests yet, I predict it’s only a matter of time… So take a minute to consider how you’ll deal with your employees’ requests, and have a think about these points:

  • Be genuine - employees may actually fear putting in a request to work flexibly. Being able to demonstrate your understanding of the employee’s circumstances is important, even if you know the request to work from the Caribbean is not humanly possible.
  • Be transparent - consider the precedents set. How come Suzie from Housekeeping had her request to work flexibly granted last month? If you are considering rejecting a request similar to one that was recently accepted be very clear on the reasons.
  • Can you reach a compromise? If the request can’t be approved is there a compromise that you can mutually agree to? Could you try a trial period?

Should you encounter difficulties dealing with flexible working requests, contact QCS who can put you in touch with Employer Solutions. We are here to help.

Anita Manfredi of Employer Solutions – QCS HR Expert Contributor

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