The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023

12 April 2024


The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 came into force on 6th April 2024.  The Regulations amend the existing legislation so that workers have a legal right to make an application for flexible working on the first day of employment (cancelling the previous requirement to have been in the employment for 26 weeks prior to making an application).

 Employees can make a maximum of two applications for flexible working in any twelve-month period.  This could include an application to work part-time, change a working pattern, work on a part-year basis or vary work location (including working from home).

Although changes can be agreed informally, if an employee makes a formal flexible working application, an employer must follow the statutory procedure in considering the request.  To do this the employer must;

  1. Deal with the request in a reasonable manner.
  2. Consult the employee about their application.  If an employee fails to attend any meeting scheduled to discuss their application or an appeal, the application can be considered to have been withdrawn. 
  3. Notify the employee of their decision within 2 months.
  4. Not refuse the application unless one of the following grounds applies, as defined by the Employment Rights Act 1996, section 80G;

There is no statutory right of appeal against a flexible working application decision but it is considered to be good employer practice to include a right of appeal.  If an employee does not consider that their application has been dealt with correctly they can bring a claim to Employment Tribunal. 

The statutory right to request flexible working does not apply to agency workers (i.e. workers who are engaged by one entity but are supplied to do work for another entity).       

ACAS has drafted a useful code of practice on the procedures which you can access here

If your employee handbook includes reference to flexible working, or you have a flexible working policy, this will need to be reviewed and updated to reflect the changes.  Call us to discuss – 0121 445 6178.