The right to request flexible working
- Employees must have 26 weeks continuous employment at the date the application is made.
- Employers have statutory duty to consider applications.
- Once agreed it becomes a permanent change to the contract of employment.
- An employee has the right to appeal if necessary against the outcome.
- Negotiate an agreement if requested hours are not possible.
- Only one application can be made in a 12 months period.
There are many forms of flexible working. It can describe a place of work, for example, home-working, or a type of contract, such as a temporary contract. Other common variations include: part-time working, flexitime, job sharing and shift working.
Parents of children aged 16 or under, or disabled children under the age of eighteen (Parental Leave), have the right to apply to their employer to work more flexibly if they have:
- worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously at the date that the application is made
- not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months
The request can cover hours of work, times of work and place of work and may include requests for different patterns of work.
The Government proposes to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees; they will remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner; however, business will have the flexibility to refuse requests on business grounds.
The Government plan to legislate on this in 2013 and will introduce the changes to flexible working in 2014.
The other speakers included Julia Tybura - Managing Director Zenon Consulting, Angela Gardner - Senior Manager in KPMG's Diversity and Inclusion team and Liz Gardner Head of Policy at Working Families. A video of the event is included below:
Call our Helpline on 08457 47 47 47 for free support and advice or to check your workplace policies and practices. The Acas Helpline provides free and impartial advice for employers, employees and representatives on a range of employment relations, employment rights, HR and management issues.
Some feedback about our Helpline from users:
"Acas is invaluable. We have had lots of HR issues and nobody else to ask."
"Everything that I have asked Acas on the Helpline, they have informed us correctly and in full."
Helpline number: 08457 47 47 47
Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-1pm
View further information about our Helpline service, including our new Helpline Online on the Acas Helpline page.