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Janine Milne

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Acas seeks views on flexible working for Code of Practice

Acas is seeking input from employers and workers for its draft Code of Practice on the new extended rights for flexible working.
The Government announced changes to flexible working rules in November 2012.
A key change is that the requirement to be a parent or carer to apply for flexible working will no longer apply. All employees with 26 weeks’ continuous employment will be eligible for flexible working. 
Acas’ Code of Practice will replace the existing statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead, employers will be required to consider all requests “in a reasonable manner” and within a reasonable time frame.
Acas is looking for views from both employees and employers and particularly small firms lacking HR support, which may find request for flexible working a challenge.
The Code is designed to offer short, practical advice for employers for specific circumstances and will be accompanied by a good practice guide to help employers.
Ed Sweeney, chair of Acas said the Code: “Will make it easier for employers to be fair in considering requests to work flexibly which helps to maintain good working relationships and minimise discrimination.
"We’re very keen to hear views on the draft Code from anyone who has an interest in flexible working."
The government aims to introduce this extended flexible working system by 2014, in the Children and Families Bill, which is expected to be introduced by April 2013.
Consultation for the draft Code will close on 20 May 2013.

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