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Tesco allows staff to request flexible working from day one, ahead of law change
03 August 2023

Tesco has rolled out changes allowing all its staff to request flexible working from their first day at the chain, nearly a year ahead of an incoming change in the law.

The company brought in its new flexible working policy this week, which gives its more than 300,000-strong workforce the right to ask for part-time or flexible working hours from day one.

Under current rules, employees must wait six months before being allowed to make the request.

It sees Tesco make the move ahead of new laws expected to come in next spring which will give all employees the right to a flexible working request from day one.

The new law will require employers to consider and discuss any requests made by workers, who will have the right to two requests a year, with waiting times for a decision brought down from three months to two.

Tesco said that far more than half of its staff already work part-time, but it will now allow all full-time advertised positions to be available as flexible or full-time, while a range of different part-time or flexible working options can be discussed across all roles.

James Goodman, People Director at Tesco UK, said: "We think giving people the right to start a conversation about flexible working from their first day, or even before they start work for Tesco, is the right thing to do to give colleagues the opportunity for a healthy work-life balance.

"We aim to create a positive culture at Tesco where managers will do as much as they can to facilitate these requests for flexibility."

Flexible working requests can relate to working hours or pattern, including part-time, term-time, flexi-time, compressed hours, or adjusting start and finish times.

It can also include flexibility over where someone works, whether that be from home or a satellite office, cutting commute times.

While employers will not have to guarantee that flexible working will be granted, they do have to consider and discuss requests with employees.

The Government has estimated the changes will bring an estimated 2.2 million more employees within the scope of the entitlement.

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