Employers: The New Flexible Friend Of The Employee?

New employment laws came into force at the beginning of April which will require employers to update their policies and be aware so as not to be caught on the hop.  Here are the headlines:

Flexible working – changes

  • The right to request it becomes a day one right: the previous 26 weeks qualifying period has gone
  • An employee can make two requests in any 12 month period
  • Employers must consider and get back to the employee about the request within 2 months (previously it was 3 months)
  • Employers must consult with the employee before rejecting such a request
  • Employees no longer have to explain the impact their request will have on the workplace

There’s a new ACAS code to assist: https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-on-flexible-working-requests/html

Carer’s leave – new

  • A new right for an employee to take unpaid leave to provide or arrange care for a dependent with a long term care need
  • Dependent, as well as family members, can also include a person living in the same household
  • Long term care need is an illness or injury requiring care for more than three months, a disability under the Equality Act or care for a reason connected with old age
  • Leave can be taken in a block or as single whole or half days
  • Prior notice must be given of the greater of either twice the number of days to be taken or three days
  • Employer can postpone the leave for up to a month if it would otherwise unduly disrupt the business

Paternity leave – changes

  • The two week block of leave can now be taken either as a consecutive two week block or in two non-consecutive blocks of one week each
  • Leave can be taken during the first year of the child’s birth/adoption
  • Employee only needs to give 28 days’ notice of the actual dates on which they wish to take the leave and similarly 28 days’ notice of a proposal to vary those dates

Redundancy protection – changes

  • Employees on maternity, adoption or shared parental leave have the protection of being offered alternative vacancies in a redundancy situation, as a priority over other employees
  • This protection will now last from when the employee first gives their employer notice of their pregnancy until 18 months post-childbirth or adoption

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Andrew Firman Andrew Firman

Andrew Firman is a partner in our corporate & commercial team. His corporate practice concentrates on buying and selling mainly owner-managed SMEs and associated advice on contractual and banking documentation work. His employment practice covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious work for both employers and employees. His charity practice majors on compliance and amalgamation matters.

London - United Kingdom

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