More than half of employers will have to change their current policies to satisfy new legislation giving parents the right to request flexible working arrangement, according to research.
From 6 April employers will have to allow parents to work flexible hours unless there are business reasons for turning down requests.
Research by law firm Linklaters also shows that 82 per cent of employers already have a flexible working policy, with 68 per cent providing guidance for staff on putting together an application.
The study also finds that 75 per cent of employers state that the new legislation would not make them more likely to grant a flexible working request, as they already have their own policies in place. However, as a result of the new legislation, 71 per cent of employers will introduce a formal appeals procedure if requests to work flexibly are denied.
Commenting on the new laws, Raymond Jeffers, head of employment at Linklaters, said: "On the positive side, the new legislation is likely to raise awareness of good flexible working models.
“On the negative side, the new law is likely to require a more bureaucratic process than most employers' current, less formal practices. Also, as the legislation is aimed at one small group - parents that fit the criteria - that could possibly lead to division in the workplace."