The UK Could Soon Be Legally Enforcing Flexible Working

October 2, 2019

The UK is close to making flexible working law. In support of greater choice and freedom for employees, UK lawmakers want workers to have better work/ life balance whatever stage of life they are in.

Currently, for UK-based employees to be granted flexible working status they must work for the same employer continuously for a minimum of 26 months and must apply for flexible status – which is at the employer’s discretion.

The UK government is calling for several elements of flexible working to be introduced including job sharing, shift swapping, compressed hours, flexitime, annualized hours, staggered hours, phased retirement and career breaks.

“Organizations need to recognise that the demands of a multi-generational workforce, all with busy lives, need to be addressed to gain and retain the best talent,” says Paul Avis of Canada Life Group Insurance, the UK’s largest provider of group insurance.

How Corporate Real Estate Can Support New Flexible Working Laws

The roll out of these new workplace policies will be driven through recruitment and HR. However, Corporate Real Estate (CRES) does have a supporting role to play in changing the workplace to be more supportive of flexible working and to seek out opportunities for cost consolidation that this shift may present.

The choices for flexible working are broad and employees at different life/ career stages may take advantage of these opportunities in unique ways. Therefore, the immediate focus point for CRES won’t just be implementing changes in the built environment, but also ensuring that employee-centric data remains strong. Any changes in data quality will impact daily operations and strategic planning.

Reliable and accurate data is always key to managing and planning facilities. As the adjustment to flexible working for all is rolled out, this will cause significant changes requiring CRES, HR and related partners to be mindful of data impacts. The shift towards legally-binding flexible working will have its challenges and will require better joined up comms with HR (who hold information on employee’s new working patterns) and security (monitoring daily incoming/ outgoing) to deliver efficient facility operations.