Making flexible working the default

Read ACCA's submission to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy's consultation contains proposals to reform flexible working regulations (The Flexible Working Regulations 2014). In response, ACCA has made the following recommendations:

  • Government should encourage a broader informal culture of flexible working as the default, with statutory Right to Request as an additional safeguard. 
  • There is significant potential for wider adoption to reduce inequality of opportunity, career progression and outcomes as well as improving productivity. 
  • Government must account for the risk of reduced support for new entrants with less social capital, remote working opportunities creating ‘brain drain’ from routine manual occupation dense areas and the potential creation of a ‘two-tier’ workforce. 
  • Additionally, ACCA queries the interaction with other statutory rights and the difficulties for SMEs in identifying which statutory right is being applied. 
  • Managers should be enabled to manage informal temporary changes to working patterns to accommodate worker requests on a more flexible basis. 
  • ACCA supports a reduced response timeframe of between one and two months, excluding time for further negotiations or appeals.

ACCA's full response is available to download in the 'Related documents' section on this page.