The New Flexible Working Act

The New Flexible Working Act brings significant changes for both employers and employees. Despite its importance, a recent survey by Acas revealed that 70% of employees were unaware of the impending shift in the law. This underscores the necessity for clear communication and understanding of the Act’s implications. In this guide, we’ll delve into the key provisions of the Act and offer insights for navigating this new landscape of flexibility in the workplace. From understanding the rights conferred by the Act to practical tips for implementation, we’ll ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge needed to adapt to these changes effectively.


What is the New Flexible Working Act?

Starting April 6, 2024, a significant shift in employee rights under the Flexible Working Act came into effect. Now, employees hold the power to initiate a statutory request for permanent changes to their contract from day one of their employment. This empowers them to seek adjustments in their work hours, duration, and location right from the onset.

What’s more, they’re no longer limited to just one request within a twelve-month period; now, they can make two. The timeline for employers to respond to such requests has also tightened, with a mandated decision required within two months of receiving the request. Should an employer find themselves unable to accommodate the requested changes, a consultation with the employee is now mandatory.

Importantly, under these amendments, employees are no longer obligated to outline the potential impact of their proposed changes on the organisation or suggest solutions to mitigate any perceived issues. This shift marks a significant milestone in employee rights, emphasising the importance of flexibility and responsiveness in the modern workplace.


The Benefits

Business Minister Kevin Hollinrake stated, “A happier workforce means increased productivity,” highlighting the significance of employee satisfaction in boosting output. The New Flexible Working Act, which grants UK employees greater flexibility in their work arrangements, aligns with this principle. This legislation seeks to enhance job satisfaction and reduce stress by empowering workers to choose when and where they work. Minister Hollinrake’s endorsement underscores the importance of prioritising employee happiness for organisational success. Below are just some of the benefits:


Enhanced Employee Well-being

Flexible working arrangements allow employees to better balance their work and personal lives, reducing stress and improving overall well-being. This can lead to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.


Increased Diversity and Inclusion

Flexible working enables a more diverse workforce by accommodating individuals with diverse needs and circumstances, such as parents, caregivers, and people with disabilities. Embracing diversity fosters a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

Improved Recruitment and Retention

Offering flexible working options can make your organisation more attractive to job seekers and help retain top talent. Employees value flexibility and may be more likely to stay with a company that offers it.

Greater Productivity and Efficiency

Research suggests that employees who have control over their work schedules and environments are often more productive and efficient. Flexible working allows employees to work when they are most productive and in a manner that suits their individual preferences.

Environmental Benefits

By reducing the need for commuting and office space, flexible working arrangements can contribute to lower carbon emissions and a smaller environmental footprint. This aligns with corporate social responsibility initiatives and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability.

The new flexible working act

Tips for Employers for Implementation

Now the New Flexible Working Act has come into effect, employers need to adapt their practices to ensure compliance and foster a positive work environment. Here are some tips for successful implementation:

Review and Update Policies

Begin by revisiting your existing policies and procedures concerning flexible working arrangements. Ensure they are in line with the updated legislative requirements and communicate any necessary adjustments clearly to all staff members. With emPerform’s robust reporting and analytics capabilities, this process becomes streamlined, allowing you to easily assess and gain valuable insights into your organisation’s overall health and compliance status.


Train Managers and HR Staff

Provide training to managers and HR staff on the updated legislation and their responsibilities in handling flexible working requests. This will ensure consistency and fairness in the decision-making process.


Create a Transparent Process

Establish a transparent process for handling flexible working requests, including the steps employees need to follow and the timeline for decision-making. Communicate this process to all staff to manage expectations effectively.


Consider Individual Circumstances

Acknowledge that every flexible working request is distinct and merits personalised attention. Consider the employee’s individual circumstances and evaluate the potential implications of the requested changes on both their role and the organisation. By doing this, employers demonstrate their commitment to promoting and prioritising work-life balance.


Maintain Open Communication

Promote transparent communication between employees and managers regarding flexible working arrangements. Foster a supportive atmosphere where employees feel empowered to discuss their needs and concerns openly. Embrace the concept of upward feedback, allowing employees to provide input and share their perspectives. Encourage ongoing feedback to ensure that communication channels remain open and that feedback is consistently valued and acted upon.


Monitor and Evaluate

Regularly monitor the implementation of flexible working arrangements and evaluate their impact on employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall business performance. Make adjustments as needed to optimise outcomes. Why not try emPerform’s surveys and 360 degree reviews to successfully and efficiently monitor and evaluate hybrid working employees?


Seek Legal Advice if Necessary

If you encounter complex or contentious flexible working requests, seek legal advice to ensure compliance with the law and minimise the risk of disputes or legal challenges.


Check out our blog, “Top 7 Ways to Manage Hybrid Working’ for specific guidance on handling hybrid work setups. Dive into practical tips and strategies designed to help you navigate the challenges of managing teams in both remote and in-person settings. Whether you’re looking to improve collaboration, enhance communication, or maintain productivity, our blog has easy-to-follow advice to support you every step of the way.


The implementation of the New Flexible Working Act represents a significant milestone in modernising employment practices and promoting a culture of flexibility and inclusivity in the workplace. By empowering employees to request flexible working arrangements and providing guidance for employers on successful implementation, the Act aims to create a more adaptable and resilient workforce.

Experience the power of emPerform, your all-in-one solution equipped with essential tools and features to help you seamlessly transition to the requirements of the New Flexible Working Act.

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