Changes to flexible working rights: summary

Understand the changes to flexible working rules from April, including the right to request flexible arrangements from day 1 of employment. Read advice on how to respond to the changes, and download our letter to staff and handout for governors about the new rules.

Last reviewed on 11 March 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 49316
  1. What's changed?
  2. How to consult staff
  3. Update your flexible working policy
  4. Communicate the changes to your team
  5. Discuss flexible working as part of recruitment

The rules around requesting and granting flexible working arrangements changed 6 April 2024, when the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 came into effect.

Please note, this article is based on the Act and Acas’ code of practice on requests for flexible working, which was has been updated in line with the Act. If your procedures are based on Acas' guidance from before 6 April 2024, you may need to update them.

The information in this article applies to statutory flexible working requests – read about the difference between statutory and non-statutory (informal) requests in our other article.

Old rule New rule Staff who have been employed at your school for 26 weeks have the right to make a statutory request for flexible working. All staff have the right to make a statutory flexible working request from day 1 of employment. Staff can make 1 flexible working request in a 12-month period. Staff can make 2 flexible working requests in a