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The laws around hybrid working explained

Since the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 there has been a substantial increase in the number of businesses adapting their working model to become hybrid. In addition, this year there have been changes to laws surrounding hybrid work, and advice for what employers should know if they want to implement a hybrid working structure in their business. In this guide we will be exploring what the laws on hybrid working currently state and the key facts businesses need to be aware of.

What is hybrid working?

You may already be aware of the term hybrid working, but it is essentially a type of flexible working that enables employees to split their time between the workplace and remote working (for most people this would be working from home). Hybrid working falls under the category of flexible working which also includes flexitime, part time, job sharing, and annualised hours.

There was some uplift in hybrid working prior to 2020, but its popularity truly increased post-lockdown. This is due to it being a preferable option for employees and growth and productivity increasing for businesses too. Research carried out by Acas between March and April 2022 revealed that 60% of employers have seen an increase in hybrid working since the pandemic and 52% saw an increase in staff working from home full time.

Following this, ongoing guidance has been provided to employers wanting to transition to hybrid working. As specialists in employer law for employers, Employment Law Services (ELS) Ltd can help ensure your hybrid working model is effective for the business and your employees.

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What are the laws on hybrid working?

Back in December 2022 the government concluded a yearlong consultation referred to as ‘making flexible working the default’. As a result, in July 2023 they introduced the completed legislation called the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill. This legislation comes in recognition of the recent evolutions to the nature of working and the benefits working remotely can offer to employers and employees. By clarifying the rules on flexible working, the government wants to encourage people to adopt a working style that suits their specific needs and promote a healthy work-life balance.

What changes will be made through the new legislation?

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working) bill has received Royal Assent as of August, meaning from 2024 onwards, millions of employees will have more control over where and when they work. The new measures in the Act will include:

  • New requirements for employers to consult with employees before they reject their flexible working request.
  • Reduced waiting time for an employer to make a decision on a flexible working request from three months to two months.
  • Permission for employees to make two statutory requests within a 12-month period (instead of the current one request).
  • Removing the existing requirements for employees to specify what affect, if any, the change would have on the employer, and how that may be dealt with.

It hasn’t been explicit in the Act, but the government has stated that the ‘day-one right’ will also be implemented. This means that the right to flexible working will be an employee right from the start of their employment – there is no minimum length of service needed before an employee can make the request (the current requirement is 26 weeks of continuous service).

What do employers need to know about hybrid working?

There are some advantages to the hybrid working model for employers including better staff retention and reduced overheads. However, for it to work effectively, there are some legal and practical factors that they will need to address. These include:

  • Reviewing existing policies and implementing new policies that clearly set out the arrangements and conditions for remote working.
  • Tailoring standard employment contract clauses to include hybrid working.
  • Taking the necessary measures to protect personal data and confidential information.
  • Considering the health and safety implications and completing a risk assessment.
  • Deciding whether any special equipment should be provided to employees.
  • Considering whether any specific planning or insurance agreements are needed.
  • What arrangements need to be made to manage and supervise hybrid workers.
  • Identifying tax implications for hybrid working.
  • Cost considerations during the energy crisis and whether extra support should be given to cover the cost of heating and to some extent the electricity.



Now you have a greater understanding of the new laws around hybrid working, you can consider whether it is the right option for your business, and the steps that might be needed to implement it successfully. As an employment law advisor for businesses UK, our experienced employment law practitioners at Employment Law Services (ELS) LTD can offer relevant guidance, that will ensure the best working model for your business both for now and moving forward into the future. Book a free consultation with one of our specialists online or don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.