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Acas publishes new flexible working guidance

Rolling out a longer-term flexible working model for your workforce requires considered analysis and careful planning. Acas has published new flexible working guidance as we take the final step into the easing of restrictions. The guidance suggests that employers should have open conversations with employees about how they want to work going forward as their latest research found that nearly half of employers (49%) said they expect an increase in staff working from home or remotely all week, with slightly more (55%) expecting an increase for at least part of the week. There is an opportunity for employers to do more to provide flexibility for the benefit of all employees and organisations.

Susan Clews, Acas chief executive, said “Hybrid working existed before COVID-19 and our survey reveals that more than half of employers in Britain expect this type of flexible working to increase once we come out of the pandemic.

“Our new advice can help employers look at the potential benefits of hybrid working, consider whether it is suitable for their workplace, and fairly manage any staff requests.”

General secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Frances O’Grady said “As restrictions ease, employers should consult with staff and their unions about working patterns and hours, including hybrid working and working from home”.

“The TUC is worried by the new class divide emerging, with those who can work from home getting more flexible working options, and those who must be in a workplace missing out.”

“As Acas guidance makes clear, employers should consider other forms of flexible working alongside hybrid working – things like flexitime, term-time working, job-sharing, compressed hours and predictable shift patterns.

“Flexible working is good for productivity, for morale, and it helps working people balance work with their other responsibilities.”

Home or remote working can mean people avoid lengthy commutes and have fewer distractions than in an office environment. But it can also result in people over-working and feeling isolated, so a focus on health and wellbeing is essential. There is a balance to be had for both employees and businesses.

Read the full guidance here:

For help in planning for flexible working for your employees, ViewHR are here to help – please contact us for an initial discussion.