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The Employment Relations Act 2023

The Employment Relations Act 2023: Giving Workers More Flexibility

The Employment Relations Act 2023 (ERA 2023) has recently been passed into law, and it brings with it a number of changes to the way that flexible working is handled in the UK.

One of the most significant changes is that employees will now be able to make two flexible working requests within a 12-month period. This is up from the previous limit of one request per year.

Another change is that employers will now be required to consult with employees who make a flexible working request. This consultation must be "meaningful" and must take into account the employee's reasons for making the request.

The time period for employers to respond to a flexible working request has also been reduced from three months to two months. This means that employers will need to make a decision on a flexible working request more quickly.

Finally, the ERA 2023 removes the requirement for employees to explain the effect (if any) of the change on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with. This means that employees will no longer need to provide a detailed justification for their flexible working request.

These changes are designed to make it easier for employees to request flexible working and to give them more control over their working arrangements. They are also likely to have a positive impact on employee productivity and satisfaction.

If you are an employee who is considering making a flexible working request, the ERA 2023 provides you with a number of new rights. You should carefully consider your options and talk to your employer about your request.

If you are an employer, the ERA 2023 requires you to take flexible working requests seriously. You should consult with employees who make a request and consider their reasons carefully. You should also respond to requests within the two-month timescale.

The ERA 2023 is a positive step towards giving employees more flexibility in their working arrangements. It is likely to have a positive impact on both employee productivity and satisfaction.

What are the benefits of flexible working?

There are many benefits to flexible working for both employees and employers. For employees, flexible working can provide a better work-life balance, increased productivity, and reduced stress levels. For employers, flexible working can help to attract and retain top talent, improve employee morale, and reduce absenteeism.

What are the different types of flexible working?

There are many different types of flexible working arrangements, including:

  • Flexible hours: This allows employees to vary their start and finish times within agreed parameters.
  • Compressed hours: This allows employees to work longer hours on fewer days, such as working 10 hours a day for four days a week.
  • Job sharing: This allows two or more people to share the same job.
  • Remote working: This allows employees to work from home or other remote locations.

How do I request flexible working?

If you are interested in requesting flexible working, you should first talk to your employer. You should explain why you are making the request and what type of flexible working arrangement you would like. Your employer is then legally required to consider your request and give you a response within two months.

What if my employer refuses my request?

If your employer refuses your request, you can appeal the decision. You can also contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) for help.

The ERA 2023 is a significant step forward for flexible working in the UK. It gives employees more rights and makes it easier for them to request flexible working arrangements. If you are interested in flexible working, I encourage you to talk to your employer about your options.

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