Flexible Working

UK Government image of young working woman stood with a tablet in her hand and with text next to her reading, 'Make FLEXIBLE WORKING Your Business'.

There are new flexible working laws for British businesses. Here’s what’s changed.

Does your business employ people? If the answer is ‘yes’, you need to change how you manage flexible working requests from your employees.  All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers. 

As of 6 April 2024 employees can make a statutory request to make permanent changes to their contract from their first day of employment. This means that from day one, they can ask an employer for changes to how long, when and where they work.  

Employees can now make two requests in any twelve-month period, rather than the previous one request.  

In addition, you are now required to make a decision on the request within two months of receiving it.

Should you feel unable to accept the request, you need to consult with your employee. 

The changes also mean that your employee no longer has to explain what effect, if any, the flexible working request would have on your organisation and how it could be overcome.  

As an employer, you must manage these requests in a reasonable manner. You can only reject a request for one of eight business reasons, check the reasons for rejecting a request here.

The benefits of flexible working for businesses

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests some of the direct and indirect benefits to flexible working both for businesses and employees.  

Case studies and articles

How helping staff with working patterns helps keep a resort on track

Why a Welsh holiday resort found flexible working arrangements have had a big impact on staff recruitment and retention.


Let’s get flexible: the workplace is changing

With new laws on flexible working coming on 6 April, the traditional workplace has changed for the better.

Black woman professional cook cracking an egg while preparing meal with her coworker in the kitchen at restaurant.

Are you ready to support a flexible workforce?

As new flexible working laws come into force employers must get up to speed on the changes and how to manage flexible working requests.

Team Of Designers Working At Desks In Modern Office

How flexible businesses are leading the way

From netting top talent to boosting diversity and accelerating productivity, the benefits of flexible working are all encompassing.

Cheerful caucasian barista giving high-five to african american waitress for great job during teamwork in cafe

Busting the myths around flexible working

People have outdated ideas about what it involves, but with flexible-working laws changing on 6 April, it’s time to bust the misconceptions.

disabled worker in wheelchair in a carpenter's workshop

Clocking on: how a Norfolk-based manufacturer is a convert to flexible working

Retaining older, experienced workers is one of many benefits Listawood has realised by offering a range of flexible-working arrangements.


What is flexible working?

Working flexibly enables opportunities to work that suits the employer’s and employee’s needs. Options include, but are not limited to: 

Job sharing
Two (or more) people doing one job and splitting the hours.
Remote working
Working from anywhere other than a permanent office (for example, from home).
Hybrid working
A combination of working remotely and in the employer’s workspace.
Part time
Working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).
Compressed hours
Working full-time hours but over fewer days (for example, a 9-day fortnight).
The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but works certain ‘core hours’ (for example 10am to 4pm every day). 
Annualised hours
The employee works a certain number of hours over the year but they have flexibility about when they work. There are sometimes ‘core hours’ which the employee regularly works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or when there’s extra demand at work. 
Staggered hours
The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.
Predictable hours or set shift patterns
The employee has set hours they work instead of hours that may change week to week or day to day. It may be set hours for a whole week or part of a week.
Phased retirement
Default retirement age has been phased out and older workers can choose when they want to retire. This means they can reduce their hours and work part time.

Flexible working at Bluestone National Park Resort

Steps your business can take right now to support flexible working

Are you Happy to Talk Flexible Working?

With the support of the UK Government and Flexible Working Taskforce, the charity Working Families is promoting the ‘Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ strap line and logo for employers to use in their job adverts and recruitment.

Read the guidance and download the logo and strap line here.

Happy to Talk Flexible Working logo
Additional flexible working support and advice can be accessed here:

Further guidance and support

Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus can offer a wide range of advice and tailored solutions for employers throughout the recruitment process.

Advice from Acas

Acas provides advice on employment law, HR processes and good practice at work for employers in England, Scotland and Wales.

Menopause and the workplace

Resources for employers and their workers who are seeking menopause-related guidance.

Flexible Working Taskforce

Image showing flexible working partners logos: ACAS, CBI, CMI, FSB, Timewise, Scope, AgeUK, MakeUK, TUC, BCC, REC, CarersUK, CIPD, Equality and Human Rights Commission, IoD and Working Families.