Flexible working

When dealing with a request for flexible working it is important to follow a clear and proper process to ensure consistency, transparency, fairness and compliance with the law and Codes of Practice. We would encourage all to be open-minded when receiving a request.

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Flexible working

What you need to know…

What is a flexible working application?

A request for a change to contractual terms, which can include changes to: hours of work (e.g. part-time, flexi-time), times of work (e.g. compressed hours) and place of work (e.g. work from home)

What are the timescales?

  • Unless the request is approved, the employer must meet with the employee within 28 days to discuss the request and, within 14 days of the meeting either agree to the request (potentially on a trial basis) and confirm any impact on terms and conditions or refuse the request.
  • The employee is entitled to appeal the decision by writing within 14 days.
  • Any appeal must be dealt with within 14 days of its receipt.
  • A final decision must be given within 14 days.

What are the fair reasons for refusal?

You should where possible try and accommodate the request. 

  • The burden of additional costs.
  • It renders the employer unable to meet customer demand.
  • The inability to re-organise the workload among existing employees or recruit additional employees.
  • Detrimental impact on quality or performance of the business.
  • Lack of work during the employee's proposed working times.
  • Adverse affect on the employer's planned staffing changes.

What you need to do…

  • The application must be in writing and explain the reason for the request.
  • A meeting should be held before day 28 to discuss the request and to either agree, agree with a trial period or to decline.
  • The request should be considered fairly and reasonably in line with business requirements.
  • Reasons for any decision and any impact on terms and conditions should be confirmed in writing, together with confirmation of any right to appeal.