Firms ‘unaware’ of impending legislation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABritish businesses are still unaware of the forthcoming change to right to request legislation, according to research by an online career portal.

The Jobsite survey found that 53% of British businesses are still unaware of legislation that comes into effect on 30 June. The change extends the right to request flexible working to all employees. Of those that are aware, 25% said they haven’t thought about the impact it could have on their business.

Despite 77% of employees being unaware of the impending changes, Jobsite said one in three people in the UK workforce (35%) already cite flexible working as the most important employer attribute, and two thirds (66%) would request it given the opportunity to do so.

The most popular reasons cited are having more time to spend with their children (46%) and having time to focus on their hobby or study to improve their work life balance (27%).

Meanwhile, over half of the employers surveyed said the new flexible working laws will improve their business, as their employees will be happier. This is reinforced by almost a third (32%) of employees feeling they would be more productive working the hours that most suit them.

Some employers are hesitant, with almost a third (29%) worried that they will be understaffed due to flexible working and almost a quarter (23%) worried they will not be able to fulfill employees’ requests.

Jobsite’s employment lawyer Philip Landau said: “We are definitely advocates of flexible working and the benefits it brings to employers and employees alike. With 67% of people expecting to ask for flexible working, there is clearly a market demand. However, the knowledge gap identified in our new research is worrying. Impacts should not be underestimated and we urge companies to use the next month to get prepared, or be prepared to be caught out.”

Jobsite has created a panel of experts and factsheets to help businesses prepare.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/djking/

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