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Cost impact to business of new flexible policies adjusted down

The cost impact to businesses of instituting shared parental leave and extending the right to request flexible working have been adjusted downwards, according to a Government announcement.

Cost impact

The net cost to business of shared parental leave has dropped to £17.1 million, down from £20.1 million, a decrease of 15 per cent.

For the changes to the right to request flexible working, the cost has been adjusted to £10.31 million, down from £11.79 million, a decrease of 12.5 per cent.

The original figures have been updated in light of inflation assumptions that are used to discount the costs and benefits of Government policies.

The rest of the impact assessment analysis remains unchanged.

The 'modern workplace'

The extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees comes into force on 30 June 2014.

The provisions extend the right to make a flexible working request to any employee who has 26 weeks' continuous service.

The statutory procedure for considering requests will also be abolished. Instead, employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner. As is currently the case, an employer will still be able to turn down requests on certain business grounds.

Shared parental leave isn't due to be implemented until April 2015.

Shared parental leave (SPL) aims to give parents more flexibility about how they choose to balance their work and caring commitments following the birth of a child. Mothers will be able to end their maternity leave early, and use the remaining time as a shared period that can be taken by either parent or both together.

Both policies came from the 'modern workplace consultation', which sought views on flexible parental leave, flexible working, Working Time Regulations, and equal pay.

Acas publications and services

Acas has produced a new code of practice to help businesses manage the new extended right from 30 June 2014. This comes with a non-statutory good practice guide with practical examples of how requests might be managed in the workplace. Both documents are available to download on The right to request flexible working.

If you'd like free advice on these or any related subject call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Acas experts can visit your workplace and help you develop and implement effective flexible working policies for parents and carers.

Practical training on issues related to Maternity, paternity and adoption and Flexible working is also available.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.


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