How to make a request - Making a flexible working request

How to make a request

Important: This advice reflects the current law. We will update this advice in 2024 when new flexible working law comes into force. Read more about the new flexible working law on GOV.UK.

You must put a flexible working request in writing, and your employer should talk to you before making a decision.

What to include in your request

Your request letter or email must say you're making a 'statutory flexible working request'.

You must also include:

  • the date you're sending it
  • the change you'd like to make
  • when you'd like the change to start
  • how you or your employer might deal with any effects the change could have on your work or the organisation
  • the date of any previous flexible working requests, if you've made any

It can also help to include:

  • any benefits that the change could have to your work or the business – for example, cost saving or doing shift times that others prefer not to do
  • any benefits to people you work with – for example, if someone else would like a job share too

Use our flexible working request letter template

Discussing the request

Your employer should set up a meeting to talk about your request before making a decision.

If you go to a meeting, it can help to talk about:

  • the reasons you want the change
  • how any problems with making the change might be dealt with
  • any other options you might consider if the change is not possible

Bringing someone to the meeting

You can ask your employer if you can bring someone to a flexible working request meeting, for example someone you work with or a trade union representative.

There is no legal right to bring someone, so it's up to your employer to agree.

Once your employer makes a decision

Once your employer has reviewed your request, they must let you know their decision. It's a good idea to ask for the decision in writing.

They must make a decision within a maximum of 3 months of you making your request.

If you do not get a decision within 3 months, you should raise the issue with your employer. Find out how to raise a problem at work.

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