Flexible and Hybrid Working
The COVID 19 pandemic has seen a rise in the number of employees, particularly office workers, who have been working remotely following government guidance to work from home where possible.
Given the increase in remote working during the pandemic, many employers are considering hybrid working, or agile working, whereby staff attend the workplace for part of their working time and work from home (or elsewhere) remotely for part of their working time.
An employee with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service has the statutory right to ask their employer for flexible working, this request can include a change in the hours of work and/or the place of work. The right only applies to the request, the employer can provide a number of business-related reasons to refuse the request.
In September 2021, the government launched a consultation on proposals to amend the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 to allow all employees to request flexible working from the first day of their employment.
Flexible working requests for permanent homeworking or increased flexibility, including hybrid working are likely to increase, particularly where the employee has an improved work/life balance and can limit their commute to work.