Statutory flexible working requests

1 . What flexible working is

Flexible working involves making a change to when, where or how an employee works.

Some form of flexibility can be built into almost all jobs, regardless of the organisation's size or sector.

When considering flexible working, it's best to start by thinking about what might be possible.

There are many different types of flexible working. While some might not be practical for every job, it's likely other types will work.

Benefits of flexible working

Flexible working can benefit both employees and employers.

For employees, it can help:

  • balance work with other parts of their life

  • improve health and wellbeing

  • open up more jobs to them

For employers, it can help:

  • attract and keep staff

  • their employees be more productive

  • keep employees happy and motivated

  • recruit for jobs that are hard to fill

  • improve diversity and inclusivity

As an employer, it's good practice to have a policy on flexible working. A policy can help managers and employees discuss and agree flexible working in a consistent way. Read more about having a flexible working policy.

Types of flexible working

Employees and employers can agree any flexible working arrangement that meets both their needs.

Flexible working can take many forms. Organisations can implement specific types of flexible working in different ways. Some examples are below.

Part-time hours

Part-time working means working reduced hours compared to full-time.

For example, working:

  • 3 days a week, instead of 5

  • 32 hours a week, instead of 40

  • 9am to 1pm each day, instead of 9am to 5pm

Staggered hours

Staggered hours means having a different start and finish time to other employees.

For example, working from 7am to 4pm instead of 9am to 6pm.

Remote working and working from home

Remote working means working from somewhere other than the usual workplace.

For example:

  • working from home

  • working from a mixture of client offices, coffee shops and hotels

  • choosing where to work within agreed limits

Employers and employees should agree:

Hybrid working

Hybrid working is a mixture of working remotely and in the workplace.

For example:

  • working 3 days from home and 2 days in the workplace

  • working at least one day in the workplace, with the option to work remotely the rest of the week


Flexitime means having flexible start and finish times, within agreed limits.

For example, an employee works 8 hours a day. They choose when to start and finish as long as they work 10am to 4pm each day.

Job sharing

Job sharing is when 2 people do one job and split the hours. Employees might need to cross over so they can hand over work or work together some of the time.

For example:

  • one employee does the job every Monday and Tuesday, and another employee does it Wednesday to Friday

  • one employee works Monday to Wednesday and the other employee works Wednesday to Friday so they both work on Wednesdays

Compressed hours

Compressed hours means working the same total hours over fewer days.

For example, an employee works longer days to do their hours over:

  • 4 days each week, instead of 5

  • 9 days each fortnight, instead of 10

  • 14 days each month

Annualised hours

Annualised hours means working an agreed number of hours over a year, with flexibility on when to work these hours.

For example, working a total of 1,500 hours over the year while doing:

  • a minimum of 30 hours a week in October, November and December

  • a minimum of 16 hours a week the rest of the year

Term-time working

Term-time working means working when schools are open.

For example, working Monday to Friday during school terms only.

Team-based rostering

Team-based rostering means taking team members' preferences into account when scheduling when they work. This is more common in retail and hospitality sectors.

For example, the team manager asks team members to submit their working pattern preferences. One team member says they cannot work on Fridays. The manager schedules other team members to work Fridays when planning the team rota.