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Code of Practice on Flexible and Remote Working Published by the WRC

The WRC have published the long-awaited Code of Practice for Employers and Employees on the Right to Request Flexible Working and the Right to Request Remote Working (the “Code”). The Code was required in order to implement the right to request flexible and remote working arrangements as set out in the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 (the “Act”). The Code provides practical guidance for both employers and employees as to how to make, consider and handle requests for flexible and remote working arrangements.

We previously provided an outline of the new rights to request flexible and remote working arrangements in our article on Work Life Balance which can be found here. The publication of the Code means that all employees now have a right to request remote working arrangements. Parents and carers of persons in need of significant care or support for a serious medical reason now also have a right to request flexible working arrangements.

Clarity on Types of Flexible Working Arrangements:

The Act defines a flexible working arrangement as a “working arrangement where an employee’s working hours or patterns are adjusted, including through the use of remote working arrangements, flexible working schedules or reduced working hours”. The Code expands on this definition to include part-time work, term-time work, job sharing, flexitime, compressed working hours and remote working as types of flexible working arrangements.

Reasons to Request a Remote Working Arrangement:

The Code provides a number of examples of reasons for requesting a remote working arrangement which includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Reducing commutes and carbon footprint
  • Optimizing quality of life outside normal working hours
  • Personal or domestic circumstances
  • Neurodiversity or special medical needs or circumstances which could favour a quiet working environment or facilities not always available in the office.

Key takeaways from the Code of Practice:

  • 6 months continuous service required before a flexible or remote working arrangement can commence.
  • Requests must be made in writing, signed by the employee and submitted to the employer at least 8 weeks in advance of the proposed start date.
  • Employers are generally required to respond to requests as soon as is reasonably practicable, but no later than four weeks from receipt.
  • In considering a flexible working request, employers should take into account their own needs, the employee’s needs, and the guidance set out in the Code.
  • The Code sets out considerations to be taken into account by employers when considering a remote working request including: the type of work done by the employee, whether the role requires face-to-face engagement with clients, the employee’s IT skills and the level of supervision required by the employee.
  • Employers and employees can agree to make an amendment to or to terminate a flexible or remote arrangement after it has been agreed. The Code sets out factors which should be taken into account when making such a decision, including where the arrangement is having a substantial adverse effect on the operation of the business, profession, or occupation or where the employer has reasonable grounds to believe the arrangement is being abused by the employee.


Employees who consider their employer is in breach of their obligations in considering their flexible or remote working request, may refer the matter to the WRC. However, it is important to note that the WRC can only assess the process that was followed by an employer in reaching its decision on the employee’s flexible or remote working request. The WRC cannot assess the merits of any decision made by an employer in relation to the request.

The WRC have the power to:

  • Direct an employer to comply with specific sections of the Act and/or
  • Make an award of up to four weeks’ remuneration as compensation for a breach of the employer’s obligations in relation to requests for remote working arrangements or
  • Make an award of up to 20 weeks’ remuneration for a breach of the employer’s obligations in relation to requests for flexible working arrangements.

The team at CC Solicitors are experienced specialist employment law advisers. If you need assistance in relation to how to develop a Work Life Balance Policy for your organisation or indeed how to respond to a flexible or remote working request, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.