Flexible Working Hours

Flexible Working Hours

All employees can request flexible working, not just carers who are responsible for dependants. A flexible working request can be made by an employee who has at least 26-week service, however, a request can be made by an employee who has less than 26 weeks of service in certain circumstances. Flexible working is any change to an employee’s normal working pattern, including compressed hours and working fewer days, staggered hours for starting and finishing at different times, a shift pattern or term-time working.

There are various reasons why an employee would make a flexible working request. These can include a parent needing to work hours that fit around the school run, the need for a better balance between work and home life, a disabled person needing to accommodate regular medical appointments and an employee who cares for a disabled relative.

Employers are entitled to take into account their business needs when considering whether to grant a flexible working request. Any refusal must be reasonable and must not discriminate against the employee who has made the request. For more info on discrimination claims, please visit our page.

An employer should consider looking at what they can and can’t do to accommodate the request. They should also consider whether granting the request would be detrimental to their business and what detriment the employee would suffer if the request was refused. It is reasonable for the employer to hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the request and advise the employee of the appeal process if the request is not granted.

If the request for flexible working is unreasonably refused, then the employee might have the right to pursue a claim in the employment tribunal in certain circumstances. Unreasonably refusing a request from a woman whose request relates to childcare responsibilities could amount to sex discrimination. A request from a disabled employee could also amount to disability discrimination, depending on the circumstances.

What can we help with

At Watermans Solicitors, we can provide free advice in relation to your right to make a flexible working request. We can also provide a free assessment of any claim that you might. We work on the basis of no win, no fee and will make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. Contact us to find out more.