Flexible Working Legislation April 2024 – What’s Changed 

The Helens

The Helens

All employees now have the right to request flexible working from DAY ONE of employment, removing the 26 weeks qualifying service requirement.  

The amendments to the Act include the following changes: 

  • Employees can request flexible working from day one of their employment. 
  • Employees can make two flexible working requests within a 12-month period. 
  • Employees no longer need to explain the effects of the flexibility requested and how that might be dealt with, but still need to explain the change they want and when they want it to come into effect. 
  • Before rejecting a flexible working request, there is a new requirement to consult with the employee. 
  • Employers need to give their decision within two months. 

The 8 reasons to reject a Flexible Working Application remain as follows: 

  • it will cost the business too much; 
  • the work cannot be reorganised among staff; 
  • you cannot recruit more staff; 
  • there will be a negative effect on quality; 
  • there will be a negative effect on the business’ ability to meet customer demand; and/or 
  • there will be a negative effect on performance. 

Employers who refuse a request should clearly explain the business reasons together with any additional information that helps to explain the decision. 

There is no statutory right to appeal, but allowing an appeal is good practice. You should explain how employees can appeal and the timeframe within which to do it.  

Our clients have been provided with amended Flexible Working Policies and Application Forms to reflect these changes.  

If you would like an updated policy and application form, please get in touch.  


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