Since the 30th of June 2014 employees are able to request flexible working from their employers, as long as they have been at their place of work for more than 26 weeks. Flexible working allows employees to fit their work schedules around their lives. Examples of a flexible request could be to work flexi hours with unstipulated start and finish times, to work from home or to condense your five day week into four. Before the 30th of June 2014 the ability to make these requests was only open to parents and carers; however this has now been expanded to cover everyone.
Making a request is known as making a statutory application*. In the first instance the employee must write to their employer stating their request. The employer then has 3 months to make a decision unless a longer period is agreed with the employee. If the request is approved, the employer must change the employee’s contract. If the request is denied reasons for the refusal must be provided in writing. In this circumstance the employee may then be able to complain to an employment tribunal.
If you decide to make a request for flexible hours there are a few things to consider:
1) You can only make one request per year so make sure you’ve thought your situation and needs through before proposing any changes.
2) You must make the request in writing; this ensures you have proof of request if your case were to go through to an employment tribunal.
3) Your employer must consider your request in a rational and professional manner.
4) You should be offered a meeting with your employer to discuss the request.
5) If you wish to withdraw your request at any point you need to notify your employer in writing.
6) If your request is refused you have the right to an appeal process.
*Source: Please note the content in this blog is not written legal advice, but a jobs24 adaptation. https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working/applying-for-flexible-working July 2014. For more information on handling requests in a reasonable manner click here.