Are you ready to offer flexible working to employees?

By James Nadal | 28th July 2014 | 14 min read

Any employee that has worked for you for more than 6 months now has the right to request flexible working.  This new ruling which came into force from 30th June 2014 supersedes the previous policy in which only affected workers with dependent children or adults.

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) thinks the move is a good one with Chief Executive, Susannah Clement stating:

"Employers increasingly recognise the strong business case for flexible working, including enhanced employee engagement and the attraction and retention of a more diverse workforce," said the institute's chief executive Susannah Clements.

What does this mean for your business?

The new ruling means that employees have a right to request flexible working but not necessarily that it should be granted in all instances.  You do however need to:

  • Discuss the request with the employee in a timely manner
  • Carefully consider the request avoiding any discrimination
  • Inform the employee of your decision as soon as possible

Employees must deal with all requests in a ‘reasonable manner’ which includes assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application and offering an appeal process where requests are refused.  Refusal of a request must be grounds of one of eight specified adverse business outcomes.

Flexible working can lead to more productivity as a happy workforce is likely to be more engaged with your business and stay with the company longer.

Getting the most from a flexible workforce

If you do decide to grant requests for flexible working it is important to have the correct systems in place so that employees can work effectively from different locations and out of standard business hours as necessary.  Things to consider are:

  • Getting communications, such as payslips, to employees working from home
  • Will home employees be able to access business systems such as Accounts and Payroll?

Cloud solutions are perfect for home based employees as software can be accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection.  Information is updated constantly in real-time so you can be confident office based and home employees are using the same information. 

To find out more about how Cloud solutions can help your company to work more flexibly, read the free IRIS Guide‘Why e-payslips are the future’ which includes details on 6 apps to help you better run your business.

Want to try cloud payroll for yourself?  Take a free trial of Kashflow Payroll.