On 30th June 2014 the government announced that any employee who has been at their current company for at least six months is entitled to request flexible working hours. From now on, anyone who has been with their current employer for at least six months will be able to put in a reasonably-worded request to work flexible hours. Before this the opportunity only applied to those with young children or acting as a carer for a family member.
Powownow have surveyed UK workers to find out about what effect the law change is having. It highlighted that not long after the legislation was given the green light, 8% of respondents said they had already submitted a flexible working request, with a further 11% saying they would do so in the near future.
Overall, around 35% of respondents said they would consider asking for more flexible hours at some point, showing that the rule change is a pretty popular one among employees.
Speaking about the survey, Powwownow’s Senior Marketing Executive, Jacqui Keep, said:
“As flexible working is a huge area of interest at Powwownow, we conducted a survey to find out firstly, whether people were aware of the recent flexible working legislation changes and secondly, how the UK workforce is reacting to these changes.
“The most shocking statistic from our survey was that a whopping 46% of respondents were unaware of the previous law giving parents and carers the right to request flexible working. Even more interestingly, the majority of respondents who said they had or would be submitting flexible working requests would be doing so for family purposes.”
Earlier this year, Powwownow also carried out a survey discovering that almost half of British workers would prefer to start their working day before 9am. An early start is seen as ideal by many for a number of reasons including:
- Beating the rush-hour traffic on a morning and evening
- Working in a quiet office or home
- Being able to pick the kids up from school if the working day ends a couple of hours
- Having afternoons free to look after children
In the meantime, immediate demand for flexible hours is sure to leave employers with a lot of requests to handle. In the long run, this could see the nine to five weekday shift become a thing of the past.