Tesco makes flexible working a day one right
Tesco has announced a new policy allowing all employees to request flexible working from the first day of employment.
The company's more than 300,000 employees now have the right to ask for part-time or flexible working hours from day one. This move comes in anticipation of the changes made by the Employment Relations (Flexible working) Act 2023 which received Royal Assent on 20 July, but is not expected to be introduced for a year. The Act does not expressly make the right to request flexible working a day one right, but the government has indicated that this change will be achieved through secondary legislation once the Act comes into force.
Flexible working and the changes that are due to come into force should be something on all employers' agendas. By way of a brief recap, an employee will be entitled to make two requests in any 12-month period and will no longer have to explain what effect, if any, they think their requested change will have. An employer won't be permitted to refuse a request unless the employee has been consulted with, and will have two months to come to a decision (reduced from three). The changes to the regime will come into force sometime next year and the Statutory Code of Practice on flexible working (which is currently the subject of an Acas consultation) will be updated to reflect the changes.