Employees taking bosses to court over flexi-work requests jumps over 50 per cent
An increasing number of employees have begun taking their bosses to court after refusing flexible working requests, according to new research today.
Employment tribunal decisions on a mixture of remote and office-based working have jumped more than 50 per cent in the past year to 193, employment law firm GQ Littler has found.
Some 127 tribunal decisions were recorded in 2019/2020.
The rise in cases has likely been pushed by employers championing the march back to the office, after employees had a taste of a new way of working, the law firm explained.
This is especially the case with employees with health conditions, children or vulnerable relatives.
While in other cases, there have been mismatched views over the timings of returning to the workplace, GQ Littler said, as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions have meant employers can reopen their workplaces.
Though work-from-home guidance remains in place.
“The rise in cases relating to flexible working, suggests this is becoming a battleground within some businesses,” partner Sophie Vanhegan said.
“We may just be seeing the beginning of a tranche of claims taken against employers who’ve failed to deal with flexible working requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.”
Vanhegan warned that employees may begin to “vote with their feet” should employers use “heavy-handed” approaches to flexible working.