Every employee now has the right to request flexible working hours after the government extended the right previously reserved for carers and those looking after children.
As part of the right, employees can expect their request to be considered “in a reasonable manner” by employers.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said 20 million people now had the right to ask to work flexibly.
Unions and employment groups welcomed the move.
The change in the law, which affects everyone with more than six months’ service, comes less than a week after the government said it would ban employers from stopping staff with zero-hours contracts – under which employee’s hours are not guaranteed – seeking extra work elsewhere.
The government expects the flexible working rights to be of particular interest to older workers approaching retirement and to young workers looking for additional training while they work.
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