Workingwise.co.uk’s annual survey was published last week and shows that a high number...read more
A new snap poll by workingwise.co.uk shows many older workers are more likely to request flexible working from day one in a new job as a result of new legislation expected to come in next year.
Over half [57%] of older workers say they are likely to request flexible working from day one in a new job when flexible working legislation changes, according to a pop-up poll by workingwise.co.uk.
The poll of nearly 200 older workers also found that 37% of older workers said they would be more likely to change jobs as a result of the new legislation. Just 27% said they wouldn’t be more likely, with 36% saying they didn’t know.
The Employment Relations [Flexible Working] Bill is making its way through Parliament and is still awaiting Royal Assent. It is expected to become law next year. It will grant a day one right to request flexible working – rather than having to wait 26 weeks as employees do currently. Other changes on the current legislation include a stipulation that employers should consult with employees and look at alternative ways of working if they cannot agree to a flexible working request, a reduction in the time employers have to make a decision [down from three months to two], an increase in the number of flexible working requests a person can make in a year [up from one to two] and the dropping of the necessity for employees to show they have considered the business impact of their request.
The poll found 53% of older workers are aware of the new legislation. However, 39% said they do not understand how the current legislation on which it is based works. This includes the eight broad reasons on which a request can be turned down.
The poll found that 39% of older workers said they were likely to refuse a job if they didn’t get flexible working, compared with 33% who said they weren’t likely to do this. Nearly a quarter [23%] said the current rules had put them off changing jobs. Just over half [56%] said they hadn’t.
Nearly 300 working mums answered a similar poll. Their answers were broadly in line with older workers’ responses, except that they were 10% more likely to request flexible working from day one and significantly more likely to refuse to take a job if they didn’t get flexible working [58% compared with 39%].
The results of the mums’ poll are broadly in line with a survey out today from Timewise which found a big demand for flexible working once the day one right comes in. The exact details of how the legislation will work, for instance, if people will be able to request flexible working at interview or in their first day of work [meaning they could have to wait two months before they are able to work flexibly if their request is accepted] has yet to be spelt out.
*How should you negotiate flexible working? Read advice here – https://www.workingmums.co.uk/negotiate-flexible-working/. Our sister site workingmums.co.uk has also asked lawyers for their views on the impact of the new legislation.