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Flexible working regime changes to take effect from 6 April 2024

on Tuesday, 19 December 2023.

New legislation was passed earlier this year to make various changes to the flexible work regime. Regulations have now been introduced to make the right to request flexible working a "day one" right from 6 April 2024.


The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act (Act) was passed in July 2023. It will make several changes to the flexible work regime, including:

  • Allowing employees to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period rather than one
  • Introducing a new requirement for employers to consult with employees before rejecting a flexible work request
  • Reducing the decision period (within which an employer administers the statutory request) from three months to two months
  • Removing the existing requirement for the employee to explain what effect, if any, the change might have on the employer and how that effect might be managed.

Before the Act was passed, the Government stated its commitment to making the right to request flexible working a 'day 1' right. This change was not included within the Act itself, but the Government indicted it would be included in secondary legislation.

Draft regulations

The Government has now laid draft regulations to confirm that from 6 April 2024, employees will no longer be required to have at least 26 weeks' service to qualify for the right to make a flexible working request.

These draft regulations will not bring into effect the full suite of changes under the Act. Separate commencement regulations are expected to be introduced in due course to bring the Act fully into force from July 2024.

The Act will also be supported by an updated ACAS statutory Code of Practice on flexible working, which is also expected to be published in 2024. We will continue to report on developments.

For more information or advice, please contact Jessica Scott-Dye, in our Employment team, at 0117 314 5652 or complete the form below.


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