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As of 6th April 2024, the regulations outlined in the Government’s Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 will come into force, ushering in a new era of flexibility for British workers.

With the increasing prevalence of flexible working arrangements, this legislation represents a significant shift in how employers and employees approach work-life balance. Currently, the Employment Rights Act 1996 states that any employee who has worked at a company for 26 weeks or longer is permitted to ask their manager for flexible working once per year.

What are the new regulations?

In response to changing work trends and the growing demand for flexibility, the new regulations grant employees greater autonomy over their work arrangements. No longer confined by traditional office hours, workers will have the opportunity to request flexible working from day one of employment, with the option to make two requests within a twelve-month period.

Under the current framework, employees are required to provide justification for their flexible working requests. However, the new legislation removes this requirement, placing the onus on employers to consult with their employees before making a decision. Employers must respond to requests within two months, adhering to a statutory process to ensure fair treatment.


As the implementation date approaches, UK employers must prepare to navigate these changes effectively. Understanding the new rules and their implications is essential, as failure to comply could result in legal ramifications. ACAS has published a draft Code of Practice to assist employers in handling flexible working requests, providing guidance on best practices and compliance with the law.

Navigating the complexities of employment law can be daunting, but employers don’t have to go it alone. Arc Legal offers a 24/7 365 Legal Assistance Helpline staffed by qualified legal experts, providing invaluable advice and support on complying with the new regulations. Additionally, Arc Legal’s Employment Guide serves as a comprehensive reference tool for employers seeking further guidance on employment matters, including flexible working.

By understanding the regulations, seeking expert guidance, and prioritising the well-being of their employees, organisations can navigate this transition successfully and reap the benefits of a flexible workforce.

Michael Jenkins, Head of Legal Advice, Arc Legal Group

For more information on this update, or details of our products and services, please contact your Relationships Manager or email

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