How can we help?


New ‘day one right’ to flexible working

The Government has announced that employees will receive a day one right to request flexible working as part of plans to make flexible working the default position. The aim of this is to give employees greater access to flexibility over where, when and how they work and hopes to normalise conversations about flexible working to benefit employees in terms of wellbeing and work-life balance.

Many employees in the UK are already working flexibly, whether working from home, job-sharing, flexitime or working compressed, annualised or staggered hours. The current law allows employees to make a flexible working request after 26 weeks of employment with employees able to make one request every 12 months and employers being required to respond within three months. However, this is all set to change as proposed new legislation will allow employees the option of requesting flexible working from their first day of employment.

What are the key takeaways for employers following the announcement on flexible working?

  1. The 26-week qualifying period for employees to be allowed to make a flexible working request will be removed. Employees will have the right to make such a request from day one of employment.
  2. Employees will be allowed to make two flexible working requests in any 12-month period (they were previously only able to make one request within the same period).
  3. Employers will be required to consult with their employees to explore the available options before rejecting a flexible working request. For example, if the request relates to working hours, then employers could consider that although it may not be possible to change working hours on all days, it may be possible to make a change on some days.
  4. Employers will be required to respond to requests for flexible working within 2 months (they previously had to respond within 3 months).
  5. The requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by their employer will be removed.

By offering more flexible jobs and workplaces, it will help organisations to attract and retain a more diverse workforce.

It is hoped that by offering more flexible jobs and workplaces, it will help organisations to attract and retain a more diverse workforce and help increase levels of job satisfaction, wellbeing and employee performance.

Access to the full Government response to the consultation can be found here: Making flexible working the default: government response to consultation (

Employers should ensure they act carefully and reasonably when dealing with flexible working requests and if in doubt should seek legal advice.

About this article

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

  • 01 June 2023
  • Employment

Facts employees should know about their personal data

We previously published an article on facts an employer should know about holding personal data, so it is only fair that we also write about the other side of the coin – facts employees should know as individuals whose personal data is held by their employer.

  • 26 May 2023
  • Employment

Avoiding discrimination in flexible working requests

The right to request flexible working is currently available to employees with at least 26 weeks’ service and is set to be extended further under new Government reforms.

  • 25 May 2023
  • Employment

Carer’s Leave Bill set to become law

On 19 May 2023, the Carer’s Leave Bill had its third reading in the House of Lords, and upon receiving Royal Assent, will become law. There is not yet a date for the implementation of this bill, however it is likely that this will happen relatively quickly upon receiving Royal Assent, so is definitely one to keep an eye on.

  • 16 May 2023
  • Employment

10 facts an employer should know about holding personal data

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify an employee.

  • 11 May 2023
  • Employment

Employment Law Changes – Spring 2023

The government has just announced that it plans to scrap the Sunset Clause, which would have revoked almost all retained EU law at sunset at the end of 2023.

  • 10 May 2023
  • Employment

Reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace- FAQs

Acas has recently released guidance for employers and employees on reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace.