casual woman with coffee and diary, flexible working

Flexible Work is something that all working people have a right to request. It’s ultimately a schedule that suits an employee’s needs, for example flexible start and finish times. To be eligible to request this right, an employee must have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks. Only then can they make a statutory application for flexible working.

Employers have guidelines to follow when asked about flexible working. For example: They must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’ which means they need to assess both disadvantages and advantages of the request, they need to hold a meeting specifically to discuss the request and offer an appeal process.

To view the employers guideline booklet click here

There are many different types of flexible work that might benefit you:

  • Job Sharing – Two people do one job and split the hours
  • Working from Home – Working out of the office/workplace
  • Part-Time – Less than full-time hours
  • Compressed Hours – Full-time hours over fewer days
  • Flexitime – The employee chooses when to start and end their shift (with agreed limits)
  • Annualised hours – Your hours are fixed over the year but you have a choice as to when you work
  • Staggered hours – Different start, finish and break times from other workers
  • Phased Retirement – The retirement age is phased out and you choose when you want to retire (usually later)

To apply for one of these the employee is required to write to their employer, who then considers the request and must make a decision within three months. If the employer agrees with the request then changes to the employee’s contract are then made. Or, if the employer disagrees then they are required to write to the employee giving their reasons.

Employees no longer hold the statutory right to an appeal when it comes to applying for flexible working, but offering an appeal is common as it shows the employer is handling these requests in a ‘reasonable manner’. To file an appeal the employee must follow their company’s policies for appealing.

About the author

Eleanor Bridger is a writer from Rayleigh, Essex who was born on 5th December 1995. She is in her second year of completing a BA honours degree in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester - where she also serves as CW Student Representative for her year.

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