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  • Writer's picture Lyndsay Salmon

Flexible Working Requests

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

It's half term in Essex next week and this means less cars on the roads. Some of this reduction will be that people aren't driving their children to school and some people may have taken leave to cover the child care arrangements, but increasingly employees are requesting to work flexibly so they can fit work in round their other commitments, be that children, their hobbies or just a need for a better work life balance or to avoid the rush hour commute!

What is a flexible working request?

Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee's needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - not just parents and carers. This is known as 'making a statutory application'.

Can an employer refuse flexible working?

There are only limited reasons why an employer can refuse a statutory flexible working request. For example, because the business would be adversely affected. If an employee makes a non-statutory request, the employer has to be reasonable.

How do employees make a flexible work request?

Asking for flexible working

1. need to make the request in writing.

2. can only make one request in any 12-month period.

3. the employer must consider the request seriously, and.

4. complete the whole process (including dealing with any appeal) within three months.

Can an employer change a flexible working agreement?

Once a flexible working request has been agreed it forms a permanent change to the employee's contract, unless agreed otherwise, and cannot be changed without further agreement between the employer and employee but the employer and employee can agree that the arrangements are temporary, or subject to a trial period.

Is flexible working a legal right?

Although employees with less than 26 weeks service do not have a statutory right to request flexible working, some employers may allow all staff to make a request.

On what grounds can an employer refuse flexible working?

Depending on the individual circumstances there are a limited range of reasons why the employer may refuse a statutory flexible working request, these may be: Too much burden from additional costs. The inability to reorganise the work with the existing staff. A detrimental impact on the quality of work.

If you need help with managing a flexible working request then please do call or email me.

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