Changes in UK Law Promote Flexible Working

Neil Kay-Jones — of screensharing vendor Yuuguu — has put together a useful overview of recent shifts in UK employment law regarding flexible working arrangements. These changes allow working parents the right to request more flexible working arrangements and could swell the ranks of web workers.
Businesses have been concerned at the potential impact of these changes and, as such, Neil’s guide focuses on five tips to help employers prepare for a potential influx of flexible working applications from employees.

  1. Understand the process of application
    The entire process of review and negotiation can take up to 14 weeks. Employers need to be prepared with transparent processes to tackle each case consistently.
  2. Take time to understand your staff and the roles they play
    Preempt applications by identifying potential candidates early.
  3. Trust your staff
    There’s a mismatch between what web workers think they can achieve and the trust employers place in them to work effectively in remote conditions. Kay-Jones suggests that presence and IM-based tools can act as useful technological measures to help create “remote trust.”
  4. Understand the effects on your business
    Efficiency, morale, reduced absenteeism, retention, loyalty and competitiveness are all potential upsides to proactively encouraging flexible working patterns.
  5. Security
    It’s harder to maintain the security of your data with remote workers. It’s important to take steps to ensure that your business-critical data is secure..

It’s interesting to see that remote working is practically codified in this legislation. The British government sees increased flexibility in working as a means to address social issues. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this thinking extended to environmental issues, too.
What do you think of these changes to UK law?