New rules could mean requests for flexible working are granted on the first day of a new job

If you've always hoped for opportunities for remote working within your job, you'll be pleased to know that might become a reality from day one. 

The pandemic has brought many changes to the world we live in - particularly our places of work and those who work in an office.

According to research from the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) and a YouGov survey, the majority of workers want to continue to work from home at least some of the time, presenting new opportunities for organisations to establish new ways of working.

In fact, 40% of employers said they expect more than half their workforce to work regularly from home - compared to less than 10% pre-pandemic (source:

Not only does flexible working offer safety, as staff come into contact with fewer people and are therefore less at risk of contracting and spreading the Covid-19 virus, but there are also many lifestyle benefits to a more flexible working arrangement.

Plus, as the furlough scheme finally winds down and closes on 1st October, there is pressure on the government to address the needs of individuals who may feel forced into returning to work.

As it currently stands, employees must work for 6 months before they can request flexible working arrangements. However, a new consultation has been launched which could give employees the right to request flexible working from day one in their new job.

The new government proposals also include a quicker response from employers in relation to flexible working - at the moment, they must give a response within three months. There will also be more pressure for employers to explain why any requests were refused.

For employers, try and listen to your employees, avoid the temptation to turn down their request without good reason. Employees too should try and accommodate the needs of the place of work and other team members. By working together, it can be possible to find a balance as we enter this new way of working.

If you are an employer or an employee looking for any advice relating to your new role, or the post-pandemic return-to-work, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.

David Seals

David Seals


Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502218

Office: Dorking Office