A change in the law has now allowed all employees to request flexible working hours. This right was previously only reserved for carers and those caring for children. This change should now see an estimated 20 million people with the right to ask for flexibility in their working hours. Also as a result, employees can now expect their requests to be considered “in a reasonable manner” by employers.
This change of law will affect everyone with more than six months service within a company. The government believes that this change will help boost morale as well as productivity within business. It has also been argued that the extension of flexible working rights will be of a particular interest to employees who are approaching their retirement stage as well as young workers who are also carrying out additional training.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also suggested that “Modern businesses know that flexible working boosts productivity and staff morale, and helps them keep their top talent so that they can grow”. With this mind, many have argued that this is true as flexibility given by employers will make them more attractive than others, which in return will help them to retain the best talent. Furthermore, this will also potentially stop many employees leaving and finding work elsewhere. In a way, this flexibility will enable people to create a better balance between work and home life.
Conversely, many have argued that this extended law is not necessary, as without it, you can still ask your employer for flexible work time in which he or she can still say no. And even with this change in the law, an employer can still say no. In addition to this, it has been suggested that not all businesses can afford to do this as one person’s idea of flexibility can be another’s nightmare. Moreover, in the long term some have argued also that if an employer offers say one, two or three employee’s flexible working time then how long before others will ask for the same.
So what’s your opinion?