The right to request flexible working arrangements will be formally extended on 30th June to all employees who have worked for their employers for over 26 weeks; however, according to a new poll by the online career portal Jobsite, more than 50% of UK employers are unaware of the impending changes.
53% of the employers surveyed admitted they were unaware of the forthcoming legislation, which will be mandated in 27 days’ time, and a further 25% conceded that they had not yet thought about the impact the change could have on their business.
An even larger proportion of the employees (77%) polled in the study were unaware of the new right; however, previous research has consistently suggested that a large fraction of the workforce (around 35%) consider the availability of flexible work patterns as their single most important employer attribute, and a substantial majority (66%) would request such arrangements if they were available.
As with Umbrella Company Employees and others in the UK’s expanding professional contracting community, the improved work-life balance flexible work promises to deliver is cited by more than one-quarter (27%) as their most popular reason, while 46% cited having more time to be with their children.
Despite being unprepared for the changes, over half the employers polled believed flexible working would improve their business by improving employee happiness, while 32% of employees feel that flexible working would enable them to become more productive.
Jobsite’s employment lawyer, Philip Landau, said: “With 67% of people expecting to ask for flexible working, there is clearly a market demand.”