It is that time of year where children are heading back to school, employees will want to make sure that they can work flexibly around their children’s school / Nursery hours, especially as flexible working has seen an increase, and is something that is now more desired since the pandemic, it is also not mandatory to grant the flexible working request.

A request for flexible working can be to change working hours for example change to part time, or change the start / finish times or change of place of work.

General Legal Process of making a flexible working request:

  • The employee needs to have worked more than 26 weeks continued employment and only one request can be made within a 12 month period
  • A written request is made by the employee to their line manager
  • An employee has a three month period to consider the request, and discuss this where necessary and notify the employee of the outcome of the request
  • The decision has to be dealt with in a reasonable timeframe and with a letter follow up

Reasons you can refuse a flexible working request?

  • If the employee fails to attend arranged meetings to discuss the request, the employer may treat the employee’s request as withdrawn;
  • If the employee fails to attend arranged meetings to appeal the outcome of a decision (if the employer gives the employee the right to appeal) the employer may treat this request as withdrawn.
  • Additional costs to the business
  • Has a detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand
  • Unable to reorganize work amongst existing staff
  • Unable to recruit additional staff
  • Has an impact on quality
  • Impact on performance
  • Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
  • Structural changes

Please be aware that although an employee does not have the mandatory right to work flexibly, if the request is not dealt with appropriately, they can bring a claim against the employer in a tribunal for the following reasons:

  • The employer has failed to deal with the request in a reasonable manner
  • Does not rely on the statutory grounds when refusing the application
  • If the request is declined based on incorrect facts

Would you like more HR advice or further information and support? Call us today on 01952 263973.