With just a few weeks to go until the right to request flexible working becomes extended to all employees, provided they have completed 26 weeks’ service, graduate employers may be wondering how this change will impact their workforce.

While not all employees will choose to make a statutory application for flexible working, it’s clear that graduates from the millennial generation have put this at the top of their agenda. An idea detailed in PwC’s NextGen: A global generational study.

“Flexibility in where they work and how much they work is also a key driver in Millennial satisfaction,” it states.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working can fall under a number of categories and it is designed to meet the particular needs of each employee. The range of flexible working scenarios includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Part-time work (either fewer days, or less hours on each day)
  • Compressed hours (carrying out the same amount of work over less hours)
  • Working from home (working remotely for all or part of the week)
  • Job share (two people sharing one role)
  • Flexitime (varying start and finish times each day provided they core hours are worked e.g. 10-4)

How do I process a request for flexible working?

Employees will make a request for flexible working to using a template form such as this one, and employers will need to request a meeting within 28 days to discuss the statutory request.

Following the meeting a decision about flexible working must be reached within 14 days, and if approved a new contract must be drawn up for employees. The grounds for refusal are outlined here, and employees have the right to appeal.

Business benefits of flexible working

Flexible working has a number of mutual benefits for both employers and employees. As well as enabling employees to achieve a better work-life balance, the CIPD’s Flexible working provision and uptake outlines that flexible working can have a positive impact on number of areas of organisational performance including the following:

  • Productivity
  • Innovation
  • Business continuity
  • Talent management

If you are keen to employ skilled candidates from the graduate talent pool into your organisation, Discovery Graduates can help with all stages of the graduate recruitment process including attraction, recruitment and retention.