A recent survey undertaken by YouGov has revealed that only 6% of UK workers are working the traditional working hours of 9am – 5pm.
There are many reasons for the shift in this approach, including:
- employment law allows any employee who has more than 26 weeks’ continuous service to make a flexible working request, which the employer then has a duty to consider and can only refuse it on specific grounds;
- industries have become more accessible and functional outside of the traditional set working hours;
- the advances in internet and technology means that business can be made and emails be sent in the touch or swipe of a button.
Working long hours
Again, this does not come with its own related problems (no surprise with employment law and HR eh?!) A recent Court of Appeal ruling held that an employee who was no longer able to keep up in a company that had a culture of working long hours was unfairly dismissed and discriminated against.
In addition, there is a growing argument that time spent by employees who conduct work outside of their contracted hours, for example sending emails, whether it be on the commute into work or at home in the evening, should amount to working time, and employees should be paid for such time accordingly. This trend has also led to some companies within the EU disconnecting employee access to emails outside of contracted hours.
All of these developments mean that employers can no longer simply turn a blind eye and need to manage employee working trends more carefully, otherwise they could be facing claims in an Employment Tribunal.
If you would like to discuss these issues, or indeed anything else with us, please do not hesitate to contact us on the number below.
Moreover, we here at HCHR recognise that business owners regularly conduct work out of ‘business hours’, and tend to deal with peripheral duties, such as employment and HR issues, during these periods. That is why we are regularly available to discuss such matters outside of business hours as we recognise the need for flexibility.