05 March 2013 #Employment
In its response to its Consultation on Modern Workplaces the Government has proposed extending the right to request flexible working to all employees with at least 26 weeks` continuous employment. The government has also proposed replacing the statutory procedure for considering requests with a new duty on employers to act reasonably within a reasonable period.
In response to these proposals, ACAS has launched a consultation on the draft statutory code of practice on the extended right to request flexible working. The closing date for responses is 20 May 2013. ACAS states that the draft code of practice is "deliberately concise" and is "principles-based".
ACAS is especially interested on views on the following three issues:
The current statutory procedure has been criticised for being highly prescriptive. The ACAS code of practice will have statutory force and will be taken into account by employment tribunals when considering relevant cases. However, it is hoped that the new regime will be much simpler to give employers the freedom to operate their own procedures (provided these are reasonable and take no longer than three months).