Friday, 13 July 2012

Is flexible working the way of the future?

Emma Clark - Fox Solicitors
This September will see Britain recommence its fight to stop Europe preventing our employees from working more than 48 hours per week.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 sets out exceptions to the limiting 48 hour working week. Many employers rely on one of the main exceptions within those Regulations and argue that their senior executives work 'autonomously' and can therefore work as many hours as they want.
What will happen if this loophole closes? What if Europe refuses to allow us to ask our middle management and junior staff to sign a document in which they 'opt out' of the 48 hour working week?
Should employers start to focus less on potential loopholes in the law and more on a business strategy to work smarter?
The law currently restricts the right to request flexible working to working parents or those with ageing relatives. Sometimes such a request can stall or, at worst, end careers, resulting in an unnecessary loss of talent.
Flexible working can instill immense loyalty in workers and improve staff morale. Remote working provides the employer with access to new markets and invariably delivers a better and extended service for clients.
A high percentage of office space is not utilised. Transport strikes and the imminent Olympics will take its toll on London's commuters and on the environment.
Employers should think imaginatively and consider extending the right to work both flexibly and remotely to all of its employees.
Fox Solicitors are a niche firm specialising in the law relating to employment, partnership and discrimination.
For more information on the above or any other employment, partnership or discrimination matter, please contact: 
Emma Clark, Senior Associate, Fox Solicitors: 020 7618 2400  
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