Policy News Journal - 2014-15

caring for a child or dependant adult. The statutory “right to request” procedure was replaced by a Code of Practice produced by ACAS.

“Again,” says Miss Smith, “people are just not impressed by the changes. Employers know that it is difficult working from home with a newborn. Staff are not set up appropriately to work from home and it carries a number of risks such as lone working which many employers do not even consider.”

The Extension of Right to Request Flexible Working place a duty on employers to deal with requests in a “reasonable manner”.

 The statutory code of practice clarifies the meaning of “reasonable” and non-statutory guidance to support the Code provides guidance to employers on how to prioritise conflicting requests.  Employers have three months from the date of an application, including any appeal, to make a decision (this can be extended by agreement).

As is currently the case:

 The 26-week qualifying period to make a request will be retained.  Employees may only make one request in any 12-month period.  Requests may be refused on the existing statutory grounds.

With the cost of living ever increasing, the changes to The Children and Families Act 2014 have been hit with an unpopular backlash from not only employees but employers too. Protecting.co.uk who carried out the research discovered that many employees would rather sacrifice the days off in order to earn money to support their families. As Miss Smith points out, “the government need to rethink their strategy and make real changes which will benefit parents and not simply appease them into thinking they are gaining something when in reality they are losing out”.

Review launched into employment status of British workforce

8 October 2014

Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a wide-ranging employment review to help clarify and potentially strengthen the employment status of workers.

The Government announcement explains that this review:

 follows the recent review and upcoming legislation of zero hours contracts, which revealed that an increasing number of people in the UK who could be on ‘worker’ employment contracts which have fewer basic rights (such as unfair dismissal or maternity pay) than the vast majority of people who are on ‘employee’ contracts.

In many instances workers are not aware of their employment status and therefore what employment rights they are entitled to. Many employers are also unsure what rights their workforce is entitled to, running the risk of legal challenge if they get something wrong. As a result, government is also unable to collect meaningful data and get a complete picture of the overall workforce.

Officials expect to present interim findings by the end of the year, and hope to submit recommendations for next steps to ministers by March 2015.

CIPP Policy News Journal

08/04/2015, Page 72 of 521

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