UK Government Issues Consultation on Changes to Flexible Working Regulations

September 2021
Region: Europe

The government has today issued a consultation “Making flexible working the default” as part of its plans to modernise the way we work. According to the press release, the government’s proposals are about providing the right framework to encourage flexible working conversations rather than prescribing specific arrangements in legislation. In other words, despite all the fanfare from the government around the announcement, we are talking more about tinkering around the edges of the current Flexible Working Regulations rather than significant legislative reform. Not least because the government has rejected upfront the idea of turning the current right to request into a right to have - the starting point will remain that an employee can still make a request for flexible working and given one or more legitimate business reasons, an employer can still reject it.