Statutory Code of Practice
The Act is expected to come into force in September 2024. In preparation for this, ACAS has commenced consultation on a new statutory Code of Practice on handling requests for a predictable working pattern. This code outlines the procedures that employers and agencies should follow when dealing with such requests in order to ensure a fair process.
The draft Code is split into two distinct sections:
- Addressing requests made by workers to employers.
- Addressing requests made by agency workers to agencies or hirers.
The process envisaged under the draft Code is similar to the process employers follow in order to respond to a flexible work request, and includes the following:
- A meeting is to be held without unreasonable delay to discuss the request and the impact of the request for both employer and worker.
- The worker should be permitted to be accompanied to the meeting (even though this would not be a statutory entitlement).
- Employers should confirm the outcome of the request in writing within a reasonable timeframe and if the request is rejected, reasons should be provided which fall within the statutory reasons.
- There should be a right of appeal.
- All requests, including appeals, should be communicated within one month of the date of the request.
- Where a request is accepted, the employer must offer the worker a new contract within two weeks of acceptance.
The Code will be accompanied by non-statutory guidance, on which ACAS is also consulting.
The consultation process is open until 17 January 2024. Workers, employers, and agencies are encouraged to share their thoughts and insights, helping to refine the Code of Practice and ensure that it adequately meets the needs of all involved parties. Responses can be submitted online or via email to email@example.com.
If you would like to discuss this topic further please contact Jessica Scott-Dye in our Employment team on 0117 314 5652, or complete the form below.