Is Flex From 1st empowering more people to ask for flexible work?

In the weeks that have followed since lawmakers in the United Kingdom made it legal for employees to ask for flexible work from their first day of employment, and some businesses may indeed have begun to notice more requests in kind. 

At least, this has been the experience at Digital Silk, a digital marketing agency based in London. 

Anna Williams, HR Director, Digital Silk, spoke to RemoteWorker UK about the noticeable difference her company has seen — and why company management is inclined to be lenient with those requests.

“Post the law, we have indeed seen an uptick in requests for flexible work arrangements,” Williams said. “The requests ranged from remote work, alternative work days, to adjusted working hours. However, I see this as an opportunity rather than a challenge.”


What is Flex From 1st?

The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2023 part of the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act came into effect in April 2026. 

flex from 1st

Some companies are already getting more flex requests. (Photo by Vitalik Radko on DepositPhotos)

That means it has now been more than a month since the UK government passed this groundbreaking legislation, which allows workers to ask for flexible working arrangements from their very first day on the job — instead of having to wait 26 weeks as they did before. 

These collective regulations are commonly referred to as “Flex From 1st,” and labour groups have been advocating for them for years. 


Is Flex From 1st making an impact?

Supporters long argued that Flex From 1st would make work better for everyone in the UK, fostering equality and giving employees better work-life balance, among a host of other benefits.

Williams suggested that forward-thinking businesses like Digital Silk can use the new legislation to their advantage, and for the benefit of employees.

“We use this legislative change to bolster our commitment to employee satisfaction and work-life balance,” she said. “We have fostered an environment wherein our employees feel comfortable asking for flex work.”

And, the company is reaping the rewards.

“We’re seeing a promising trend of employees who’ve switched to flexible work arrangements reporting higher productivity and job satisfaction, leading to an increase in our talent retention rate,” Williams noted. 

In one surprising instance, an employee who was initially hesitant about remote work was able to give it a try thanks to Flex From 1st, and found that she loved it.

“We had an extensive discussion regarding her job role, and working from home fit perfectly. She now reports increased job satisfaction and her overall output quality has improved,: Williams said.

“This is just one of the many similar success stories we've encountered since the introduction of FlexFrom1st.”

However, she stressed the importance of companies speaking to their employees about the possibilities. While the staff at Digital Silk, and the overall company, are benefitting from the new legislation, Williams emphasised that open discussions about expectations and requirements is what ultimately leads to mutually beneficial arrangements between employers and employees.

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