There is no automatic right to flexible working. All employees who have worked continuously for at least 26 weeks for the same employer have the right to request it. The request must be made in writing.
The employer must consider the request for flexible working in a reasonable manner (i.e. assess the advantages and disadvantages, arrange a meeting to discuss the request, and incorporate a right to appeal into the process), and must provide the employee with a decision within 3 months.
Should the request for flexible working be accepted, then the employer should write to the employee setting out the agreed changes and confirming the date when flexible working will begin. The changes should also be incorporated into the contract of employment. All of this should be done within 28 days of the date the request was approved.
An employer can only reject a request for flexible working on one or more of the following grounds:-
- It would produce excessive additional costs.
- It would have a detrimental impact on the ability of the business to satisfy customer demand.
- Unable to reorganise the work amongst other staff.
- Unable to recruit.
- An adverse impact upon quality.
- An adverse impact upon performance.
- Not enough work during the periods the employee wishes to work
- Planned structural changes to the workforce.
There is no automatic right of appeal, although a failure by an employer to incorporate one into its procedures could potentially result in a finding that it failed to handle the request in a reasonable manner.
Only 1 request for flexible working can be made in any 12 month period
Should the employer have not handled the request in a reasonable manner or should there have been some other problem with the process, then the employee has the option of bringing an Employment Tribunal claim.
Taking A Case To Tribunal
Should you require advice on flexible working or in relation to an Employment Tribunal matter, then please call one of our solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700 or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page.
Should you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (which used to be known as Compromise Agreements) which you require independent advice on, then please call one of our employment law solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700, or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the Settlement Agreement.