Acas draft code recommends Businesses must take a ‘positive approach’ to remote working requests
Acas is updating its statutory Code of Practice on handling requests for flexible working. They want to reflect the anticipated reforms to legislation, significant shift in flexible working in the workplace and changing views since their existing Code was published in 2014.
The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is currently legislating to reform the flexible working provisions set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.
In response to these changes, Acas is updating its statutory Code of Practice on handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly.
The updated draft Acas Code will “encourage employers to take a positive approach” to requests so they are not “rejected by default, without due consideration and an open dialogue about what might be workable”. It is intended to provide employers, employees and representatives with good practice advice on how the new flexible working rules should work in practice. Statutory Codes of Practice are not legally binding, but they are taken into account by courts and employment tribunals when considering relevant cases.
As part of this consultation, Acas are welcoming contributions from all interested individuals and organisations. This includes employers, employees, trade unions, business representative groups, legal representatives, and any other organisations or individuals with an interest in flexible working practices and good employment relations. The consultation will include information on:
- who should be allowed to accompany an employee at meetings to discuss a 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 consultation window is on until 11:59pm on the 6th September 2023 and you can respond via their website - www.acas.org.uk/form/flexible-working-consultation