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From Monday (30th June 2014) new flexible working rights come into effect which could have a massive impact on the way we work and even our view of what constitutes work is.

The changes in rights mean that every employee regardless of whether they have caring responsibilities for children or other relatives, have a right to request an alternative working pattern. The changes could realistically see the end of the rush-hour with a significant increaese in the amount of employees choosing flexible working and employers having to facilitate that.

The new procedures mean that any employee with 26 weeks or more services can request flexible working and the way these are dealt with will actually be relaxed a little with requests needing only to be dealt with reasonably, rather than in a specified manner.

To help understand the impact, thankfully ACAS have produced a Draft Code of Practice on handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly and a Guide on Handling requests in a reasonable manner to work flexibly.

However large your organisation it is worth understanding the new changes and how they can affect you. If you already have a flexible working policy you will need to make sure the same is amended to reflect the changes too. If you work for somebody else, being aware of your rights is always key and if that helps you create a better work life balance, and possibly avoid the rush hour stress, it is worth considering your options.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore the changes in legislation.

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