What is flexible working?
Flexible working is looking at the needs of the employees and seeing if adaptions can be made to their working hours e.g. flexible starts, finish times and reduced hours etc. Every employee has to right to request this type of working not just parents and carers; however, it is down to the employer to approve this. Yet, the employee must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible to apply.
What must employers do?
They must deal with applications in a reasonable manner, for example.
1. Look at the employee’s request and assess the advantages and disadvantage. This must be looked at from the needs of the business.
2. Hold a meeting with the employee to discuss the application.
3. Offer an appeal process
Types of flexible working
Some people don’t realise the variations of types of flexible working, here is a list of them.
2.Working from home
6. Annualised hours
Applying for flexible working
Employees can apply for flexible working only if they have worked for the employer for 26 weeks
1. The employees must write a letter stating their request- some companies may ask this to be completed on a standard application form, your HR department may have this or click here for a standard form.
2. The employer will consider the request and arrange a meeting to discuss this, and this decision process can take up to three months.
3. If the employer agrees, then they must change the employee’s contract to reflect this change.
4 If the employer disagrees, they must contact the employee in writing, giving the business reasons why.
Employees can only make one application for flexible working a year
What the email or letter must include
The employee’s application must include the following
- The date
- a statement informing the employer they would like to request flexible working.
- The details of what they would like to work and dates of starting this.
- a statement explaining how they may think this type of working might affect the business and how this could be overcome
- a sentence explaining if any other applications have been submitted previously
An employee has the right to withdraw their application, and this must be done in writing.
Agreeing the application
The employer should write to the employee with their decision- (this can take up to 3 months to decide), it should include the following
- an explanation of the agreed changes
- an agreed start date for flexible working hours to commence.