‘5AM is the new 9AM’ under new flexible working regime

Employment Hero, the people management platform, is forecasting a significant rise in parents opting for early work starts following the introduction of new Flexible Working regulations.

Set to take effect on April 6, the amended legislation mandates that employers earnestly consider requests for flexible working arrangements and engage in discussions with employees to explore feasible solutions.

From the outset of their employment, employees will have the right to submit requests for flexible working, potentially establishing new work patterns from day one.

While employers retain the right to decline requests if they are deemed impractical and potentially detrimental to business operations, Employment Hero, a proponent of flexible work arrangements, anticipates a marked uptick in flexible working hour requests among the UK’s 13 million working parents, as a result of the policy change.

Employment Hero CEO Ben Thompson commented: "The traditional 9-5 workday no longer meets the needs of our team, especially parents. At Employment Hero, we embrace remote work and empower our team to craft their own schedules. We've observed a significant shift among parents, who are opting to begin work as early as 5am, so they can tackle work before attending to their children's school or childcare commitments around 9am. This early start allows them the flexibility to wrap up work earlier in the afternoon, prioritising family time and avoiding the rush to complete tasks after picking up their children. 5am is evolving into the new 9am.

“The UK has roughly 13 million working parents. Not all of them will switch to flexible working - but millions will. Employers should be proactive in updating their policies to reflect this new normal, because if they don’t, these parents will take their experience somewhere where it is more valued.”

Lucy Sharp, a full-time employee at Employment Hero, is just one parent embracing this new normal: “Juggling full-time work as a mum of two is hard. If I had to manage 9-5 office hours alongside a commute, childcare expenses, school runs and after school clubs, then full-time employment would literally be impossible for me. I feel very lucky that I’m encouraged to embrace flexible working at Employment Hero. Being able to choose my own hours means I feel valued, and it gives me freedom to enjoy those little but important moments with my kids."

Employment Hero has adopted a fully remote working policy for the last 4 years. Since transitioning to a remote model, they have witnessed remarkable growth – head count has increased 5x, revenue has soared almost seven-fold, and their valuation has increased by approximately $1.7 billion.

“We're living proof that flexible work benefits both employees and employers,” Thompson continues.

“This debate over allowing people to work flexible hours or not is at the expense of more valuable discussions around productivity and innovation. Employees like Lucy are invaluable to our business - so we will do anything in our power to ensure she is the happiest, most productive version of herself while at work.”