Supporting employees during the cost-of-living crisis: New flexible working guidance from Acas

The remote working trend has seen an upward trajectory in the UK, significantly influenced recently by the rising cost of living.

A recent survey by Acas highlights that 36 per cent of employers have seen a surge in employees working from home as of 2023 compared to the previous year – many as a result of rising costs.

Why the shift to home working post-pandemic?

Susan Clews, Acas Chief Executive, indicates that the mounting cost of living pressures have compelled numerous employees to reconsider their working arrangements.

For a segment of the workforce, commuting costs are increasingly burdensome, while others find solace in working from their workplaces to mitigate home energy expenditures.

She elaborates, “It’s imperative for businesses to collaborate with their teams, crafting working modalities tailored to distinct roles. It’s essential to factor in individual scenarios and continually revisit these arrangements.”

The benefits of flexible working

Flexible work, encompassing home and hybrid models, is a bonus for many employees striving to harmonise their professional commitments with personal responsibilities. Moreover, the prospect of curtailed travel expenses and potentially lower childcare costs adds to its appeal.

Such adaptable work patterns serve a dual purpose for businesses: they attract talent that cherishes this flexibility and bolsters the company’s competitive edge.

However, offering flexible working has its challenges that employers must consider. The latest guidance from Acas for employers, suggests:

Alongside this, employers need to consider the new rules on flexible working within the new Employment Relations (Flexible Working) legislation.

This will allow employees to benefit from:

These changes are expected soon and reflect the growing demand for flexible working arrangements. Employers need to keep up to date with these amendments to the law and the guidance of Acas to ensure that they are compliant. If you need guidance on flexible working, please contact us.

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