ACAS Opens Consultation on Predictable Working

extend probation period


ACAS has launched a public consultation on its draft code of practice for responding to requests for predictable work schedules.

The draft statutory code outlines the procedures that employers must follow when responding to requests for more consistent working schedules or hours. These procedures include the practical considerations employers should take into account when handling such requests, how they must communicate their decision, and how to handle any appeals.

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions Act 2023) received Royal Assent in September 2023, and is expected to come into force in Autumn 2024. The new law give all workers on zero-hours or temporary contracts the right to make a formal request for a more stable working pattern.

The new ACAS Code of Practice seeks to guarantee that employers respond to these requests in a fair and reasonable way, taking into account the worker’s perspective.

It currently sets out guidance including:

  • Holding meetings to consider requests prior to making a decision
  • Who should be permitted to attend meetings with a worker to consider a request
  • Granting a request when it is feasible
  • Rejecting a request for only those legally permissible reasons and providing a clear explanation for the rejection
  • Offering an appeals process in the event that a request is denied.

The period of consultation for comments on the code is ends on 17 January 2024.

Announcing the new consultation, ACAS chief executive Susan Clews commented: “Acas’s purpose is to make working life better for everyone in Britain. Our new draft code will help businesses and workers understand the new law and provide good practice around requesting and handling requests for a predictable working pattern. Our Code outlines the steps that need to be taken to ensure that requests are handled in a reasonable manner. This includes weighing up the potential benefits and other impacts of the requested change for both sides. We are eager for feedback on the draft code to ensure it is clear and workable for everyone that will impacted by the new law next year.”


Need assistance?

In light of the upcoming legislative changes, contact us to discuss how the new rules are likely to affect your organisation, and how you can prepare by reviewing and updating all relevant workplace policies and procedures.

Last updated: 25 October 2023


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

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Legal Disclaimer

The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of writing, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.

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