UK retailer Tesco plans to roll out flexible working rights for its workforce almost a year ahead of an expected change in the law from the government.
Under the current employment law, they have to wait six months before requesting flexible working hours.
The move aligns with Tesco’s commitment to embracing a flexible approach to working patterns so that colleagues can devote enough time to childcare or caring commitments.
James Goodman, Tesco UK people director, said, "We think giving people the right to start a conversation about flexible working from their first day, or even before they start work for Tesco, is the right thing to do to give colleagues the opportunity for a healthy work-life balance.
"We aim to create a positive culture at Tesco, where managers will do as much as they can to facilitate these requests for flexibility."
The grocer already has a large proportion of its workforce in part-time roles.
It has introduced a new requirement that all full-time advertised positions will be available as flexible or full-time, and a range of different part-time or flexible working options can be discussed across all roles.
Tesco also contractually guarantees colleagues a minimum of 16 hours a week to new recruits, except in the smallest Express stores, where 12 hours is offered.
It also offers workers the right to request a contract that reflects their actual working hours, if they work regular overtime.
Recently, Tesco announced unlimited appointments with a virtual GP, seven days a week, for colleagues and their immediate family.
It also offers emotional well-being support through its Employee Assistance Programme, including access to sleep therapists, nutritionists, counsellors, exercise coaches and physiotherapists.
In November 2022, the retailer introduced Pay Advance, a service that enables colleagues to get up to 25% of their contractual pay early.
Tesco has also raised wages by more than 15%, to bring the hourly rate to £11.02.