People in the UK will be given the right to request flexible working on day one of their new job, under proposals being considered by the government. Bosses would also have to explain why any requests were turned down.

Employees currently have to wait until they’ve been in a role for six months before they can request flexible working. 

A consultation on the proposals launched on Thursday. Proponents argue that the policy will help make flexible working the norm post-pandemic. Critics argue that they don’t go far enough, and that employees should be given the right to flexible working, not just the right to request it.  

The high number of vacancies in the UK jobs market means that many employers are offering flexible working to entice talent, suggesting the trend for home working will accelerate in some sectors regardless of a policy shift.  

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