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New rights for employees

From yesterday (30th of June 2014) all Employees who have been working continuously for a period of 26 weeks with an employer can ask their employer to work flexibly.  Previously this right could only be exercised by parents of children under 17 (or 18 in the case of parents of disabled children) or to those with caring responsibilities for an adult. If an application for flexible working is made, the employer should consider it carefully, looking at the benefits of the requested changes in working conditions for the employee and the business and weighing these against any adverse impact on the business in terms of the possible costs or logistical implications of granting the request. Employers must also be careful not to inadvertently discriminate against particular employees because of their protected characteristics, thus exposing themselves to a claim under the Equality Act 2010, for example by failing to agree to flexible working arrangements where this would be a reasonable adjustment for a disabled employee.  In addition, an employer must ensure that part-time workers are treated consistently with other workers as the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 make it unlawful to treat part-time workers less favourably as regards their contractual terms and conditions than comparable full-time workers, unless the different treatment can be justified on objective grounds.

All Employers should have in place a policy to deal with such requests which will ensure consistency of treatment of all Employees.

It is difficult to say how popular this option will be however if you are an Employer or an Employee who require further advice on such matters then please do not hesitate to contact us.  We have full time offices in Lampeter and Llandysul and can also see clients for appointments in Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.  Our Solicitors would be happy to assist you.