Flexible working; A right, not a privilege.


Concept Admin


April 24, 2024

The Flexible Working Bill heralds a transformative era in employment practices.  

The implementation of the Flexible Working Bill on Saturday, April 6, 2024, marked a pivotal shift in employment norms. It grants employees unprecedented opportunities to seek flexible work arrangements right from the outset of their employment journey. 

This legislative stride mirrors the shifting priorities of work-life balance and the evolving nature of work in the wake of the pandemic. It resonates with the desires of a workforce that increasingly prioritises flexibility over conventional office-based structures. 


What is the Flexible Working Bill? 

The Bill allows employees to request flexible working arrangements from day one of their employment, employees will be allowed to make two flexible working requests within a 12- month period. This marks a significant shift from the previous allowance of just one request.  


Under the Bill, employers are obligated to respond within two months’ notice, reduced from the previous 3-month period. It also states that a consultation process must take place before denying the request. The bill removes the existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with. 

This shift is designed to foster a more transparent and considerate relationship between employers and employees.  

Legislation states that part-time, term-time, flexitime, compressed hours and varied working locations are covered by ‘flexible working’.  

What does this mean for me as an employer? 

The enactment of the Flexible Working Bill necessitates a reassessment of workplace policies and practices, whilst ensuring maintenance of operational efficiency and organisational cohesion.  

It places a greater emphasis on fostering a culture of flexibility within the workplace, necessitating HR leaders to reassess existing policies and procedures to accommodate employees’ diverse needs. Moreover, it requires employers to adopt more agile approaches to workforce management, potentially leading to the adoption of remote work arrangements, flexible scheduling, and alternative work arrangements.  

HR leaders will also need to invest in robust communication channels and technology infrastructure to support remote collaboration and ensure effective management of distributed teams. Additionally, the bill may necessitate a shift in mindset among employers, emphasising outcomes and productivity over traditional notions of presenteeism.  

HR leaders and employers will need to adapt swiftly to these changes, embracing flexibility as a core component of their organisational culture to attract and retain top talent in an increasingly competitive landscape. 

Utilising tech to ease the potential challenges 

Daniel Pell, UKI Country Manager at Workday, highlights that  

“to navigate these new rules effectively, businesses will require a deep understanding of their workforces’ needs. (…) To achieve this at scale, companies can leverage real-time analytics which enable them to track requests, assess the impact of flexible initiative and gauge workforce sentiment”. 

Pell makes a strong point that technology emerges as a powerful ally for businesses aiming to navigate the new landscape effectively. By harnessing real-time analytics, companies can gain invaluable insights into their workforce’s needs, preferences, and sentiments. These analytics enable businesses to track and manage requests for flexible working arrangements efficiently, ensuring timely responses and compliance with legal requirements. Moreover, technology facilitates the assessment of the impact of flexible initiatives on productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall organisational performance. With the aid of advanced analytics tools, businesses can make data-driven decisions, optimise resource allocation, and fine-tune their strategies to create a more agile and adaptable workplace environment. 

Struggling to keep up? We can help.  

Employers grappling with the complexities of the Flexible Working Bill can find valuable support through partnering with a skilled recruiters Our recruiters possess a deep understanding of evolving employment legislation and can guide you through the intricacies of compliance with the new regulations.  

Concept assists in identifying candidates who not only possess the requisite skills and experience but also align with the your culture and values, including a propensity for flexibility.  

We help employers craft job descriptions and policies that reflect the principles of flexible working, attracting candidates who are predisposed to thrive in similar environments. By leveraging the expertise of recruiters, employers can streamline their hiring processes, mitigate legal risks, and cultivate a workforce equipped to navigate the demands of the modern workplace landscape. 

To conclude, HR leaders and organisations must approach this new era with a strategic mindset, ready to embrace change, foster innovation, and lead by example in creating more inclusive, flexible, and dynamic working environments. 


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