As recently as a month ago, the nine-to-five weekday shift was the norm for employees. While the majority of people still do it today, a change in the law which came into effect on June 30 could change the face of working patterns for women nationwide. The new law concerns flexible working requests, opening up opportunities for people to request new working times and hours.

The rule basically allows anyone who has been with their present employer for at least 26 consecutive weeks to make a request for flexible working. Prior to the rule change, this only applied to mothers of young children and carers for ill or disabled relatives. Now that it has been signed into law, how does this affect female workers?

Taking advantage

A survey conducted by Powwownow found that 70% of respondents were aware of the change, but also discovered that 8% of respondents had submitted a request for flexible working within a week of the announcement! Furthermore, 11% said they were thinking about doing so within a short-term period, while 35% said they would do so in the future.

It’s easy to see why a significant proportion of workers are already choosing to cash in and change their working hours or times. Working nine-to-five has its drawbacks, especially for working mums who have to juggle paying the bills with childcare. For many mothers, this new law is something that’s too good not to take advantage of (That’s unless you’re already working for yourself).

How to make a request

Making room for other commitments such as spending time with family or studying also make it a no-brainer to request flexible working hours, but how can it be achieved? All you need to do is follow these steps:

  • Write a polite letter asking for flexible working and explain the reasons why you are making the request e.g. childcare, studying
  • When talking to your boss about your request, give good reasons as to how your flexible working would be beneficial for the business e.g. working outside of office hours could allow for tight deadlines to be met
  • Try to make sure that the new hours fit around other commitments. Work out thoroughly when you can and can’t work

Your employer needs to have a sound business reason for rejecting your request, so be sure you make a good case for why you are making the request and highlight all the reasons why your flexible working hours would benefit the business.

To find out more about the change in law related to flexible working, hop on over to the ACAS website here

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