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Acas has launched a consultation on its new draft statutory Code of Practice on handling requests for a predictable working pattern. The consultation closes on 17 January 2024.

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act is expected to come into force in Autumn 2024. Under the Act, if a worker's existing working pattern lacks predictability in terms of the hours they work, the times they work or the length of their contract, they will be able to make a formal request to change their working pattern to make it more predictable. Once a worker has made their request, they should be notified of the outcome within one month.

The draft Code of Practice aims to ensure that requests for a more predictable working pattern are handled in a reasonable manner so that  workers' requests are fully understood and considered. It sets out good practice on:

  • Holding a meeting to discuss a request before making a decision;
  • Who should be allowed to accompany a worker at meetings to discuss a request;
  • Accepting a request where possible;
  • Only rejecting a request for certain legally allowed reasons and being clear about the reasons for rejecting it; and
  • Offering an appeal where a request has been rejected.