Flexible working: don’t fight it, embrace it

Changes to the rules on flexible working will soon come into force. In essence, the right to request flexible working is being extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ service (so no longer limited to parents of children under 17, or if disabled under 18, or to carers). Employers will be allowed to use their current HR procedures and must consider all requests in a reasonable manner and in a reasonable timescale (three months). That’s the legal speak over (and I pinched that from an online search).

At this point you may be asking: isn’t that pretty much what happens now? Well yes, but the right to request is just being widened to a broader population, so more people can ask (well nearly everyone can ask). Some people I have mentioned this to seem unfazed and employers retain the right to say no to any request. If you have the right approach in place to deal with requests, and deal with them fairly, then not a lot has dramatically changed. Other people worry about an onset of requests, an inability to accommodate them and having to say no.

We went to talk to a firm whose reputation in this field is first class, Lewis Silkin — and in particular their joint head of employment and partner Michael Burd and their director of people and knowledge Penny Newman. Many people, including one of the writers of this blog, will have benefited from Michael’s wise words over the years…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Totum briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Totum

View more briefings from Totum

Browse This Firm’s


7th Floor, Augustine House
6A Austin Friars