The initiative, affecting 3.8 million parents, will enable employees with children aged under six to propose flexible working arrangements to their employers.
Following a written request by applicants, employers should meet with them to assess whether flexible hours can be accommodated. If agreement cannot be reached, employers must give the reasons for refusal in writing. Employees can appeal and, if necessary, take their cases to employment tribunals.
More than 1100 ACCA members responded to the survey, with 62% welcoming the proposals and 37% believing the move would be detrimental to the productivity of small businesses.
John Davies, head of business law at ACCA, said: ‘Most of our members saw benefits in the proposal. Establishing flexible working hours would enable new parents to strike a balance between their home and work responsibilities. Where circumstances allow, voluntary arrangements of this kind have already proved successful, not least in terms of keeping staff and improving morale.’
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