04 November 2011 #Employment
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has made a Freedom of Information request for information on the number of employment tribunal claims relating to the right to request flexible working.
Figures generated by the CIPD indicate that in 2010/2011, a total of 218,100 tribunal claims were accepted. From this on 277 claims alleged that their employers had failed to consider a request for flexible working seriously in accordance with the statutory procedure.
A total of 229 of these claims were successfully conciliated by ACAS or settled out of court. Out of the remaining 48 cases that reached the court, only 10 were successful.
It must be emphasised that the Government is committed to extending the right to request flexible working to all employees.
CIPD suggested that the figures demonstrate that the fears expressed about the impact of extending the right to request flexible working are grossly exaggerated. They did not agree that an extension of the law to all employees, would lead to an avalanche of requests. This is because most employers already recognise that flexible working arrangements are a vital part of the modern workplace and are happy to consider these, even beyond the statutory minimum.
The CIPD state that it is not only parents that increasingly require flexible working requests. They report that a number of employees are requesting the flexible working arrangements, but they add that this is an example of a ‘touch-light’ regulation that tends to support business performance. Therefore CIPD are encouraging the Government to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and to disregard its plan to extend the three-year moratorium that exempts micro businesses and start-ups from new employment legislation.