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1:00 AM 29th January 2024
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3 In 10 Employers Have Seen An Increase In Staff Working From Home Over The Past Year

 
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
A new survey from Acas has found that three in ten (30%) employers have seen an increase in staff working from home in the last 12 months.

One in five bosses (20%) have also reported a reduction in physical workspace as the reason to implement home working over the past year.

Home working is a type of flexible working. All employees who have worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more currently have the right to ask if they can work flexibly. New changes to the law in April will make this right apply from the first day of employment.

Acas has published a new draft Code of Practice on requests for flexible working to provide guidance and help everyone understand the changes.

Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said:
“There has been a global shift to flexible working following the pandemic and it is clear from our poll that there’s a continued appetite among staff and employers.

“Some businesses have benefitted by reducing office costs as well as attracting the best talent. Staff can find flexible working valuable to better balance their working lives.

“Home or hybrid working are just some examples of an array of flexible working arrangements that are available. Our new draft Code encourages employers to take a positive approach to flexible working and covers the new law changes.”


Acas advice is that a business’s flexible working policy should explain how someone can request a different way of working, how requests will be assessed and how decisions will be made. These decisions should be fair and transparent.

Home or hybrid working are some examples of the wide array of flexible working arrangements that can work for many businesses and working people. Other types of flexible working can include working part-time, job-sharing, working hours over fewer days or compressed hours or changing start and finish times.

Acas's draft statutory Code of Practice on requests for flexible working includes information on:

who should be allowed to accompany an employee at meetings to discuss a flexible working request;
the need for transparency about reasons for rejecting a request; and
making it clear that employers should proactively offer an appeal where a request has been rejected.

The draft Code can be seen at: https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-on-flexible-working-requests/2024

The updated Code was drafted following a public consultation by Acas in 2023 and is currently awaiting parliamentary approval.