Red Kite Law Team Ready to Offer Advice on New Flexible Working Rules.

14 July 2014

The Red Kite Law team can guide businesses and individuals through the new law on flexible working.

The new rights for employees started this month (July).

“Change is the one constant factor in employment laws and working practices and we have a team of experts here at Red Kite Law to guide people through the new rules,” said Donna Purchase, head of the legal firm’s Human Resources (HR) team.

Mrs Purchase, a partner with Red Kite Law, leads “the strongest employment team in West Wales” (as recognised in The Legal 500 UK 2013 benchmark).

“We are all about giving clear, practical advice and cost-effective solutions for our clients,” she said.

“So when changes to employment laws happen we are in the vanguard of helping to point people in the right direction.

“Smaller firms (SMEs) may be baffled by the changes and may not have their own HR resources.

“This is where we can bring our expertise to bear, making sure that everyone fully appreciates the latest changes to the law on flexible working.”

Before June 30, employees could only request the right to work flexibly in order to care for a child under 17 (or 18 if the child is disabled) or for an adult who is in need of care.

From this date on, all employees can make a request to work flexibly, provided they have 26 weeks’ service.

Employers are required to consider such requests reasonably and to provide a response within three months of the request.

Employers will still be able to rely on one of eight business reasons to reject such requests – reasons laid down in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

There are supporters both for and against the changes.

The new right may give employees more of an appetite to request to work flexibly and, at its best, the new system will help to create a more motivated, flexible and talented workforce.

But many employers fear it may be a burden.

Older employees are more likely to request flexible working patterns in future and may well be minded to challenge decisions to reject such requests.

It is also expected that the new right will be of particular interest to people who want to take up additional training or learning while they are at work.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas, has published a code of practice to help employers understand the extension to the right and how to process requests.

This can be accessed at http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/e/Code-of-Practice-on-handling-in-a-reasonable-manner-requests-to-work-flexibly.pdf

For further information and advice, please contact Donna Purchase at Red Kite Law. Phone the Carmarthenshire offices on 01267 239000 and the Pembrokeshire offices on 01437 763332.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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