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The Impact of New Flexible Working Laws on Surveyors

Written by: RICS Recruit
Published on: 2 May 2024

In today’s evolving workplace, flexibility has become a necessity. A new set of flexible working laws has been passed in the UK and we’re here to inform you on what this means for surveyors, both as an employee and an employer.

What does this mean for surveyors?

The new flexible working laws grant the ability to immediately request flexible working. Initially, this could only be done after about 26 weeks of service.

It’s imperative that employees are aware of their right to request this, as it not only empowers them to ask for flexible working at any stage in their new role, but inclusive working policies accommodate all situations, including being a parent or carer.

If any given party requests flexible working, they are under no obligation to justify how it will result in a positive outcome for the company. With this platform to request flexible working early in a new role, it provides a sense of clarity to employees on how to approach their job roles and plan for the foreseeable future.

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What does this mean for firms?

Naturally, employers should be aware that requests for flexible working can still be denied. The passing of this law ensures it’s easier and quicker to have this conversation with your employee, as opposed to a guarantee of flexible working.

Employers have the right to deny these requests but should work to accommodate these things at any given point.

CBRE found that 54% of remote and hybrid workers reported an increased level of trust in their employer, presenting organisations with a positive basis to engage with employees. This shows that flexible working can have a positive impact on the workplace culture and ensuring the environment is positive.

Interestingly, Savills has reported that “Gen Z is the generation least willing to commute to work – for a job that requires at least four days per week in the office.” It could be worth firms and employers considering the benefits of flexible working to ensure they reach a younger generation. Young people are the key to any evergreen institution.

Additionally, Savills continued to document that “Gen Z will tolerate a longer commute if offered greater flexibility to work remotely.” Supporting this notion that while flexible working is not required, as the new generation paves its way, employers would do well to consider this a variable.

This correlates with statements made by Peter Cheese, Chair of the Government’s Flexible Working Taskforce, stating that “By using the tagline ‘Happy To Talk Flexible Working’ in job advertisements, employers can open recruitment to wider talent pools and create fairer and more inclusive workplaces.”

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As the UK embraces new flexible working laws, both surveyors and employers are navigating a transformative landscape. For employees, the right to request flexibility from day one empowers individuals to seek better work-life balance. Employers, while retaining the right to deny requests, are encouraged to consider the positive impact flexible working can have on workplace culture and recruitment, especially with younger generations.

With platforms like RICS Recruit, both parties can explore and embrace flexible job opportunities, fostering a more inclusive and adaptable work environment.