UK Government Extends the Right to Request Flexible Working

Earlier today, the UK government set forth a law to extend the “right to request flexible working” to employees who have dedicated 26 weeks or more of service to their current employer. Previously, the country only extended flexible working benefits to individuals who have children under the age of 17 (or 18 with a disability) or those who care for an elderly parent or other adult dependent.

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Those who want to request flexible working privileges under the new law must understand that their requests should be deemed “reasonable” and a code of practice will give employer’s guidance on how to determine what “reasonable” means. However, flex work programs such as working remotely, job sharing, working through lunch breaks to leave earlier and the like should have no issue being granted under the law.

It certainly is interesting that the UK government is not only putting a law in place to encourage flexible working, but they have also provided guidance for submitting an application to your employer and have instituted an appeals process.

Flexible working is not only a benefit for employees, employers can certainly benefit from a happier, well-rested, motivated workforce. According to research conducted by Georgetown University and The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, up to 80 percent of employees state that they would be much happier if they were offered flexible working options, and over two-thirds reported greater job satisfaction as a result.

At Lifesize, we believe that knowledge workers who work from home or engage in a flexible work arrangement should have a seat at the meeting from wherever they are, just like their colleagues. With cloud-based video technology like Lifesize Cloud, there is no reason that an at-home worker can’t have the same productive, face-to-face experience as if they were in the office.

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It may be time for the US to consider making a similar law to empower employees to dictate their own work schedules to contribute to their success. Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, or want to avoid the rush hour commute, or simply want to spend more time at home, you deserve the right to request flexible working privileges. [READ MORE FROM THE BBC]

Do you think flexible working legislation should be extended to the US? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: BBC.com

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