26 October 2023

Acas has launched a consultation on the code of practice on handling requests for a predictable working pattern. The government is introducing a new law which will give eligible workers a new statutory right to request a more predictable working pattern. The legislation gives certain individuals, such as those on zero hours contracts and agency workers, the right to request more certainty around their working pattern.

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act received Royal Assent on 18 September 2023. The new legislation will give employees and workers a right to request a predictable work pattern under the Employment Rights Act 1996, subject to certain eligibility criteria. The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act is expected to come into force in Autumn 2024.

Acas has been asked by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) to prepare a new statutory code of practice. Acas will also be producing new non-statutory guidance to sit alongside the code. The draft Acas code is intended to support employers, temporary work agencies, hirers, workers and representatives to understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the new right to request a predictable working pattern. The code will not be legally binding, but will be taken into account by courts and employment tribunals when considering relevant cases.

It sets out good practice on:

  • holding a meeting to discuss a request before making a decision
  • who should be allowed to accompany a worker at meetings to discuss a request
  • accepting a request where possible
  • only rejecting a request for certain legally allowed reasons and being clear about the reasons for rejecting it
  • offering an appeal where a request has been rejected.

The consultation closes on 17 January 2024 at 11:59pm. You can read and respond to the Acas draft code of practice, here.

Read the full news story, here.

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