Making a Flexible Working Request

If you have 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’.

It is 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. Contact our lawyers now.

How can I get legal help?

  • Speak to our solicitors

Once you have contacted our team, we will 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, who will be able to 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 will also ensure that you are provided with clear information on costs. You may have the benefit of alternative funding through your legal expenses insurance provider or trade union. If you don’t, we’ll be able to provide clear and upfront cost estimates to ensure that you remain in control of your costs at every stage.

What outcomes can I expect?

We will 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; a Tribunal order that your employer must reconsider its decision.

Why are Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors specialists?

  • Deep understanding

Our team of 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.

  • 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.

  • Will fight to get the right result

If your request is not granted, we will 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.

Case Study: We successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client.

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 that she felt better equipped to fight the injustice that she had suffered.

Frequently asked questions

Can my employer refuse to grant my flexible working request?

The simple answer is yes.

However, if you have 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 have 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 is a right of appeal in your employer’s flexible working policy. If you don’t have a right of appeal, it is 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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