Private Client

Flexible Working

Have you circumstances changed?   Do you need to commit more time to your family?   You may be able to change your working arrangements and work more flexibly.

In April 2003 the Employment Act introduced provisions to allow employees to request changes in their hours or days of work or place of work in order to accommodate their needs.

To qualify an employee must have been working for their employer for at least 26 weeks before making a request.   They must be caring for a child who is 17 or under (or a disabled child under18) or a spouse or partner or another adult who needs their care, and is living at the same address.

The procedure to make a request is straightforward, but must be followed to make it a valid flexible working request under the Act.  Although there are no set forms, employees need to make their application in writing.

The employee makes the request and the employer may agree it in the first instance.  However, if the employer does not agree it they need to call the employee to a meeting.  There are set grounds in which the employer can refuse the request, but those are the only grounds.   If the employer refuses the request the employee has a right of appeal.  If the employer does not follow the correct procedure, the employee can complain to the Employment Tribunal.  If an employee is dismissed for making a flexible working request, this would be an automatically unfair dismissal.

The above is a summary of the rights and procedures relating to flexible working.  If you would like more information about your rights or the procedure involved, please contact Marina Vincent on 020 8422 5678.

Contact Harold Benjamin employment lawyers team for employment law in London and Nationally.