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Employment for Individuals

Making a Flexible Working Request

Susie Al-Qassab
Susie Al‑Qassab
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Natalie Wellock
Ellen Clabburn
Ellen Clabburn
Alexandra Pekanac
Alexandra Pecanac

If you’ve worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks (and are not an agency worker) you have a legal right to request flexible working.

Flexible working can include remote working; job sharing; part-time, flexi or compressed hours.

There are certain statutory requirements regarding the format/content of the request, but if you comply with these, your employer must give it proper consideration and deal with it in a ‘reasonable manner’.

How can I get legal help?

Speak to our experienced solicitors

Once you’ve contacted our team, we’ll take all relevant information about your situation.

Allocate to the right representative

Your case will be allocated to the most appropriate lawyer for your circumstances. Your lawyer will consider your evidence, discuss next steps and advise you on the likely outcome of any claim you might have against your employer.

Funding options

We’ll  ensure that you’re provided with clear cost information. You may have the benefit of alternative funding through your legal expenses insurance provider or trade union. If you don’t, we’ll provide clear and upfront cost estimates to ensure you remain in control of your costs at every stage.

"Susie AQ was a professional and dependable confidante. I would thoroughly recommend her if you need someone in your corner guiding your thought process and making course corrections as appropriate."

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What outcomes can I expect?

We’ll seek to resolve your matter internally, coming to a flexible working arrangement that meets your needs.

If your matter escalates and you need to bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal, we can help you to reach a settlement agreement with your employer, or the best possible outcome at Tribunal. For a breach of flexible working regulations, this could include compensation (up to eight weeks’ pay or a maximum of £538 per week); a declaration as to your employer’s actions; or a Tribunal order that your employer must reconsider its decision.

It’s important to understand your rights, as there are a number of benefits to flexible-working. It may help you to fit your hours around childcare responsibilities, caring for adult dependents or simply having a better work-life balance.

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Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen?

For our deep understanding of flexible working arrangements

Our team of dedicated employment lawyers are well-placed to advise you regarding flexible-working. We understand the importance of flexible working and are sensitive to the needs of each individual.

We give the right advice

We can advise you on your rights, the statutory procedure for making a request, any flexible working policy provided by your employer and their obligations under it.

We’ll fight to get the right result

If your request isn’t granted, we’ll consider the evidence and advise you as to whether this refusal was unlawful. Next steps might include raising a grievance (an internal complaint), or bringing claims to the Employment Tribunal.

"Excellent lawyers. Very supportive and sympathetic and caring. Always available if you are unsure about anything to talk you through your queries."

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Featured case

Flexible working arrangement featured case:

We acted for an individual who was dismissed for making a flexible working application. She pursued claims for unlawful refusal of a flexible working request, as well as unfair dismissal and indirect sex discrimination.

The client issued the claim herself and came to us seeking representation as she was struggling to conduct the litigation, particularly as she had been put under pressure by the Respondent. Our representation placed her in a stronger position and ensured she felt better equipped to fight the injustice that she’d suffered. We successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client.


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Frequently asked questions

Can my employer refuse to grant my flexible working request?

The simple answer is yes.

However, if you’ve followed the statutory procedure for making a request, your employer must consider it properly and give adequate reasons for their refusal.

When should I expect a response from my employer?

If you’ve followed the correct statutory procedure for making your request, your employer must make a decision within three months (unless otherwise agreed between you).

Can I appeal my employer’s decision to refuse my flexible working request?

There is no statutory right to appeal. You should start by checking if there’s a right of appeal in your employer’s flexible working policy. If you don’t have a right of appeal, it’s worth seeking legal advice as you may be able to bring a claim against your employer at the Employment Tribunal.

My employer rejected my flexible working request – should I make another?

The statutory right only entitles you to make one flexible working request per year.

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