Is your business flexible enough to meet the demands of the modern-day employee?
It’s a question which all company bosses should be asking themselves, according to Keith Higgins our HR Training and Development Manager.
The right to request flexible working arrangements is set to be extended to all employees later this year, and that will bring with it new obligations for employers.
Currently, anyone who cares for an adult, or who has children aged under 18 is legally entitled to apply for such things as flexitime, or the opportunity to work from home if they have worked for a company for at least 26 weeks.
But when the new Children and Families Act comes into force later this year, the right to request flexible working arrangements will be extended to all employees.
The new legislation will require employers to consider requests from any member of staff with at least 26 weeks of unbroken service in a ‘reasonable manner and reasonable timeframe’.
Applications for flexible working can include teleworking, going part-time, running on flexi-time, job sharing, compressed working hours, or working just term-time hours to fit in with school holidays.
The Government has also confirmed that from 2015, new parents will be allowed to share their parental leave, either taking it at the same time, or in turns.
Keith said: “The nature of the workplace has changed significantly in recent years, with many businesses now providing products and services outside traditional working hours.
“At the same time, employees – particularly working parents – are seeking a better work-life balance.
“It is important for Shropshire companies not to look at this law change in a negative way. Flexible working arrangements can be a valuable tool for attracting and retaining skilled staff.
“There is also evidence to suggest that it helps to reduce absenteeism, improves productivity, and boosts staff morale.
“When you come to consider a flexible working policy, make sure you look at all aspects of your business, from production to customer service. And don’t forget to set in place a timeframe to review your policy at reasonably regular intervals.”
Keith Higgins, DY’s HR Training and Development Manager