More than half (53%) of employer respondents are unaware of the incoming flexible working legislation, according to research by online career portal Jobsite.
Its Flexible working research, which surveyed 500 employers and 1,000 employees, found that, among employer respondents that are aware, 25% have not thought about the impact the legislation will have on their business.
From 30 June 2014, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all UK employees, provided they have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks.
More than three-quarters (77%) of employee respondents are unaware of the impending changes, while 66% of respondents would request flexible working given the opportunity to do so.
The most popular reasons cited by employees for wanting to work flexibly are having more time to spend with their children (46%) and having time to focus on their hobby or study to improve their work-life balance (27%).
The research also found:
- 32% of employee respondents think they would be more productive working hours that most suit them.
- 29% of employer respondents are worried they will be understaffed due to flexible working.
- 23% of employer respondents are worried they will not be able to fulfil employees’ requests.
Philip Landau (pictured), employment lawyer at Landau Zeffertt Weir, said: “We are definitely advocates of flexible working and the benefits it brings to employers and employees alike.
“With 66% of people expecting to ask for flexible working, there is clearly a market demand.
“However, the knowledge gap identified in our new research is worrying. Impacts should not be underestimated and we urge employers to use the next month to get prepared, or be prepared to be caught out.”