From today (April 6) employees will now have the legal right to request flexible working from the first day of being in a new job.

It’s thought the new opportunity to request flexible working should benefit millions of workers, according to workplace experts.

Previously, this rule only applied if someone had worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “This new day one right stands to benefit millions of people, helping them to balance their work and life commitments and give them more say and more opportunity in where and how they work.

“Flexibility around time, scheduling and place of work can be transformative in opening up opportunities for people to get into and stay in work, especially those who have health conditions, caring responsibilities, or other life choices they want to make.

“With an ageing population, and rising levels of economically inactive people due to ill health, flexible working is more important than ever, and has been shown to support better wellbeing, making it good for individuals as well as organisations.

“The pandemic accelerated the understanding of flexible working, and the demand for it, and many organisations have responded positively by introducing more flexible working policies.”

New statutory Code of Practice on requests for flexible working published

The conciliation service Acas has published a new statutory Code of Practice on requests for flexible working alongside guidance.

The Bolton News: Have you asked for flexible working in a job before?Have you asked for flexible working in a job before? (Image: Getty)

Acas chief executive Susan Clews said: “There has been a global shift to flexible working following the pandemic, which has allowed more people to better balance their working lives and employers have also benefited from being an attractive place to work.

“Our new code aims to foster flexible working further and covers the new law changes.

“It sets out good practice on flexible working requests and will help employers and employees avoid any pitfalls.

“There are many types of flexible working such as part-time working, flexitime, job sharing, staggered hours, hybrid and homeworking.

“The starting position for businesses should be to consider what may be possible.”

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A study of 4,000 workers by campaign group Timewise found that half would consider asking for a flexible pattern of work using the day one right to request in a new job.

Chief executive Claire Campbell said: “The new legislation will help job hunters feel entitled to ask about flexible working options and requests could start coming thick and fast.

“Flexible working and diversity and inclusion are interwoven, and businesses that make the most of the opportunity could really open some doors to new and exciting talent.”