On 30th June this year, the right to request flexible working has recently was extended to all employees who have been in service for at least 26 weeks.
Responding to the legislation change, which enables employees to make flexible working requests including home-working and flexitime, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has argued that businesses need a flexible workforce in order to respond to an ever-changing marketplace.
Susannah Clements, CIPD Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Extending the ‘right to request’ to all workers is a measure that recognises the complexities of modern working lives. Employers need flexible workforces to meet the increasingly 24/7 needs of their global customer bases.”
She also went on to highlight that many employees may need to have some flexibility in their work schedules at some point in their working career.
“And more and more employees find they need to be able to build some flexibility into their working patterns at different times during their working lives – be that to accommodate childcare, caring for sick or elderly relatives, study or other life events,” she added.
The CIPD’s ‘Flexible Working Provision and Uptake’ outlines a number of additional benefits flexible working can bring businesses. These include the following:
• Productivity
• Innovation
• Business continuity
• Talent management
CIPD research also shows that 73% of employers felt that flexible working had positively impacted staff motivation and engagement; while an additional 75% believe it can help to improve staff retention rates.
Common reasons for flexible working refusal
While the case for flexible working seems to be clear, there are still some barriers that prevent employers giving flexible working the green light. According to CIPD research, the common reasons for refusal are:
• Customer demand – 39%
• Inability to reorganise work -30%
• Impact on performance – 16%
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