This will mean that all employees will have the right to request flexible working, regardless of dependents, providing they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks.
Here at Jobsite, we wanted to help British businesses prepare for the upcoming changes. From our research we’ve discovered that over half (53%) are still unaware of the forthcoming changes. Of those that are aware, 25% admit they haven’t thought about the impact this could have on their business.
We also asked the UK workforce whether they would request flexible working if given the opportunity to do so, and 66% of respondents said they would.
This means, employers need to start thinking about these changes and the impacts this could have on all aspects of their businesses including staff training and IT costs. Also, with one in three of the UK workforce (35%) already citing flexible working as the most important employer attribute, employers need to respond to these changes to continue to attract the very best talent.
The changes are very much welcomed by businesses with over half of employers (56%) believing they will improve their business, as their employees will be happier. This is reinforced by almost a third (32%) of employees feeling they would be more productive working the hours that most suit them.
However, some employers are hesitant, with almost a third (29%) worried that they will be understaffed due to flexible working and almost a quarter (23%) worried they will not be able to fulfill employees’ requests.
The most popular reasons employees cited for requesting flexible working were unsurprisingly to spend more time with their family (46%) but also to improve their work life balance by focusing on their hobby or study (27%).
With less than a week until the changes, it will be interesting to see how they affect the traditional office hours and how the UK embraces the move towards more flexibility in the work place.
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