Since 30 June 2014, if you have been employed by an organisation for at least 26 weeks, you have the legal right to request a flexible working arrangement that suits your needs. But, this is not the same as a right to flexible working and employers can refuse a request after considering it.
As with your other employment rights, the employer should handle requests for flexible working without discriminating. You should make it clear in your original request if you are looking to change your working arrangements because of a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, for example, as a reasonable adjustment for a disability.
You can also request a temporary change in working hours or conditions, so you can pursue a short course of study. But, if this is approved, you will not be able to make a statutory right to request another change in contractual terms for a period of twelve months. Nevertheless, you can still ask without the statutory right, but the employer does not have to consider it.
When your employer has received the request for flexible working, they must consider it. Unless they decide not to approve the request at that stage, they should discuss the request with you as soon as possible. This can be done in a face-to-face meeting or over the phone, but it should be in private. The discussion or meeting should take place at a time that is convenient for you, your employer and also for anyone you would like to accompany you, such as a trade union representative or colleague.
Your employer must consider the benefits for you and their business and whether there is any adverse effect for the business granting your request for flexible working. Your employer has three months to respond to the request, unless they agree an extension with you in writing.
If your request for flexible working is rejected, you can appeal the decision, as a result you can talk over the decision with your employer, which may reveal new information. This may then result in the decision being reversed and your request being accepted.
Thanks for contacting Access Solicitor. We'll get back to your enquiry as soon as possible, and during normal business hours this should be within the next 30 minutes. We look forward to helping you find the legal advice you need.
Access Solicitor Customer Care