As of today all employees (with 26 weeks' continuous service) will have the right to request flexible working. Previously, the right only applied to parents of children under 17 or for those caring for an adult.
The prescriptive procedure for considering requests has also been simplified. Employers are now under a duty to deal with requests "in a reasonable manner", but can structure the process for handling the request as they wish. That said, the request including any appeal needs to have been dealt with within 3 months.
To help employers, Acas has produced a code of practice giving guidance for employers on how to handle requests in a reasonable manner, together with a guidance note "The Right to Request Flexible Working : an Acas guide”.