Intrapeople's ops director reflects on flexible working legislation
Phil Handley, Operations Director at IntaPeople
All employees with more than six months' service now have the right to request flexible working hours.
The government has extended the right previously reserved for carers and those looking after children, meaning 20 million people could now be eligible.
As a specialist technology recruitment consultancy, IntaPeople welcomes this change.
We work in a number of sectors where IT staff might work from home for a certain number of days per week. Thanks to advances in technology and connectivity this is now easier for employers to implement and monitor and it can boost productivity.
It can also remove the need for unnecessary long commutes and allow staff to work around the clock at times which suit them, rather than within core working hours.
Many technology businesses with whom IntaPeople works will appreciate the benefits of flexible working: how it can help morale and productivity. It could also be vital to retaining and attracting talent, for example those who may want the freedom to work long into the night.
However, there might be a degree of doubt as to how requests are considered. What exactly constitutes “consideration in a reasonable manner" by employers? Addressing such uncertainties or inconsistencies might add to concerns about the extra administrative burden placed on small businesses.
Some businesses will be more challenged in offering flexible working because of business hours, associated costs and effectively balancing human resources. Furthermore, while morale could be improved in some cases, there will be dangers of a negative impact in less mutually acceptable cases where requests are declined.