There are many forms of flexible working. It can describe a place of work, for example homeworking, or a type of contract, such as a temporary contract. Other common variations include: part time working, flexitime, job sharing and shift work.
Employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. It’s known as ‘making a statutory application.’
The basic steps are:
- The employee writes to the employer.
- The employer considers the request and makes a decision within 3 months – or longer if agreed with the employee.
- If the employer agrees to the request, they must change the terms and conditions in the employee’s contract.
- If the employer disagrees, they must write to the employee giving the business reasons for the refusal. The employee may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.
Employees can only make one application for flexible working a year.
Employers should considered requests in a reasonable manner and can only refuse them if there is a business reasons for doing so, this reason must be from the following list:
- the burden of additional costs
- an inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
- an inability to recruit additional staff
- a detrimental impact on quality
- a detrimental impact on performance
- detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
- insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work
- a planned structural changes to the business.
Employees no longer have a statutory right to an appeal, but offering an appeals process helps to demonstrate that the employer is handling requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.
How to appeal
The employee must follow the company’s procedures for appealing. The employee or employer should follow the company’s procedures for solving a workplace dispute if a rejected application causes problems