January 18, 2022

flexible working

Will your company be one of the growing number of employers offering flexible working in bid to attract and retain talent? Indeed, many companies have embraced it enthusiastically, claiming that it-

  • improves productivity.
  • reduces absence rates. and
  • provides positive physical and mental benefits for employees.

However, in some companies there is a reluctance to allow employees to continue to work-flexibly.  Some employees have seen the benefits of flexible working during the pandemic and wish to keep this flexibility in their roles.

According to guidance published by ACAS there are eight reasons that an employer can give for turning down a flexible working request.  These include

  • the burden of additional cost,
  • an inability to reorganise work among existing staff,
  • an inability to recruit additional staff,
  • a detrimental impact on quality,
  • insufficient work for the period the employee proposes to work
  • planned structural changes to the business.
  • would have a detrimental effect on performance. and
  • a detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand.

There was an increase of 52% in 2021, to 193 Employment Tribunals cases, relating to flexible working. These claims are often brought alongside sexual discrimination claims.

There is a clear message for employers in these statistics, that every request for flexible working should be considered carefully and should only be refused if there’s a good business reason for doing so, otherwise they run the risk of facing an Employment Tribunal claim being raised against them.  One simple solution is that that employers should consider agreeing to flexible working requests on a trial basis, so that both sides can gather more evidence as to whether the request is workable.

LBJ Consultants have a wealth of experience in dealing with Flexible Working requests, contact us on 07375 097443 or e-mail us on enquiries@lbjconsultants.co.uk for advice.

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