Work/life balance is very important these days and employees are looking at different ways of working. But it's not just about work/life balance as business needs are also changing and customers want goods and services outside traditional business hours.
There are a number of ways in which your employees could ask to work flexibly: job sharing, working from home, working part time, compressed hours or flexitime. Any employee can ask to work flexibly, but they must have worked continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks.
The application must be in writing and must be:
As an employer, you have a legal obligation to consider any flexible work request in a 'reasonable manner'. ACAS has published a Code of Practice to inform customers on the procedure for dealing with such a request.
You must make a decision within three months of the request (or longer, if the employee agrees).
If you agree to the flexible working request, you should write to the employee outlining the agreed changes in working hours and the date when they will start working flexibly.
You should also give the employee a new employment contract. You can download a solicitor-approved employment contract from Lawpack.
You can only refuse a request for flexible working if you have a clear business reason such as the:
Employees no longer have a statutory right to appeal. But, as an employer, you are proving that you have handled the request in a 'reasonable manner' by offering an appeals process.
An employee can go to an employment tribunal -within three months of the request - if the employer:
If you want more in-depth information – from an employment lawyer – about all aspects of employment law, then read our guide Employment Law Made Easy. Packed with tips and expert advice on complying with employment legislation.
Published on: January 26, 2015