New plans to allow staff to work from home from day one of job

·2-min read

Employees will reportedly be able to put in a request to work from home from their first day in a job under plans due to be announced later this week.

If a request for flexible working is turned down then companies will have to explain the reasons for the refusal, a government consultation document will propose this week.

The plan is being mooted as a considerable reshaping of the way people work post-pandemic, with people increasingly working at home more frequently due to Covid lockdowns.

The consultation document is due to be published by by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) on Thursday, as reported by The Guardian.

The proposal will also reportedly say that businesses will have to respond to flexible working requests faster than the current three month maximum.

The current rules mean employees have to accrue half a year of continuous service before they have a legal right to request flexible working which employers are able to decline on business grounds.

The suggested proposal means anyone can make a request from the start of their job, with the move aimed at enabling women, disabled people and carers to balance their work and life commitments.

Labour has criticised the plans as not going far enough, with its deputy leader Angela Rayner saying: “Labour will give workers the right to flexible working - not just the right to request it - and give all workers full rights from day one on the job.

“This is a U-turn from the Conservative manifesto which promised to make flexible working the default and once again the Conservatives have sold out working people.

“The ‘new normal’ after this pandemic must mean a new deal for all working people based on flexibility, security and strengthened rights at work.”

Additional reporting by PA

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