Friday, 07 September 2018 14:54

Flexible Working

We’ve discussed before how work/life balance is increasingly becoming the primary factor in people’s job choices. We’re seeing it in the group we like to call Millennials, but we’re also finding it more prevalent amongst the other main worker demographic, the Baby Boomer generation.

When the country was a manufacturing dominant economy, where machines and production lines had to work in harmony in order to produce goods, it was essential that workers began and ended their shifts at the same time. Even holidays were governed by the ‘factory fortnight’. Now of course we are much more of a service based economy and so flexibility in working hours is becoming as important as the fixed-hours convention once was in order to meet consumer demand.

For employees it’s a statutory right to be able to ask their employer to make a change to their contractual working terms and conditions; provided they have worked continually for that employer for a period of 26 weeks at the time of the request. Employers are obliged to consider any such requests and agree to the changes unless they have a sound business reason.

In the modern climate however, the offer of flexibility in working arrangements is becoming the default position of employers in order to win and retain the best employees. There is a notable increase in the number of companies who work to a relaxed working pattern for their staff, provided the required hours are put in within a 24 hour period. And, these businesses are thriving.

Flexibility in work can extend beyond working hours alone. Changes in place of work, job sharing, shift work and flexitime are all aspects that workers can ask to be amended under a flexible working request that must also be considered. These are also considerations for those employers trying to create a working environment that attracts the best talent whilst meeting the needs of the customer.

The quest for the perfect work/life balance may be a lifestyle choice amongst millennials but for the baby boomers there may be other motivators that drive the need for changes in working arrangements. Having to care for children or grandchildren is a common reason, but as our life expectancy, and dementia increases, so does the need to care for the elderly.

Whether you choose to implement flexibility in working arrangements as lure for new employees or because you are honouring flexible working requests, we recommend that your contracts of employment are carefully worded to be clear and unambiguous. You’ll need to be sure you retain control of any situation should a problem arise and your contracts are what you’ll need to turn to should you need to lay down the law.

For help and support with implementing flexible working arrangements and with changes to contracts, call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 2052 times Last modified on Friday, 07 September 2018 15:15


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

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