Flexible working requests - how to approach your manager
Closed laptop, glasses and mouse on a desk

What gives you the best chance of getting your flexible working request approved?

Posted on October 03, 2016, by Philip Sayers

During National Work Life Week 2016, Philip Sayers, gives his tips on how to make a flexible working request to your employer.

“In the UK, the right to request flexible working was extended beyond parents and carers 18 months ago. If you have worked for an employer for at least 26 weeks, you can apply for a change to your working arrangements. This could be the number of hours, working patterns, home working, or job sharing. Only one request can be made a year.

“Employers should have their own procedures in place to deal with requests and to explain how requests will be dealt with. The can be done informally, but if not then the formal requirements are that an application must:

  • Be in writing
  • Be dated
  • State that it is an application made under the statutory procedure
  • Specify the change that you are seeking and when you wish the change to take effect
  • Explain what effect, if any, you think the change would have on your employer and how any such effect could be dealt with
  • State whether you have previously made an application to the employer and, if so, when.

“The obligation is on the employer is to consider, but not necessarily to grant the request.  An application can be refused if it falls within one of the following criteria, which are not difficult to justify:

  • The burden of additional costs
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • Inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • Inability to recruit additional staff
  • Detrimental impact on quality
  • Detrimental impact on performance
  • Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
  • Planned structural changes

“In other words, the legislation recognises that an employer may have entirely legitimate business reasons why it cannot accommodate a flexible working request.

“Your employer may grant all or part of the request, or give a refusal. If your request is refused, you can make an application to an Employment Tribunal.  If your working arrangements do change, this should be reflected in your contract, though a trial period is sometimes agreed.

“Proper preparation and understanding the legislation gives you the best chance of putting forward a strong application.”

For more information on this or any Employment enquiries contact Philip Sayers on 0800 328 3282 or email info@coodes.co.uk

Get the latest legal news direct to your inbox

Sign up to our newsletter to receive our news and legal updates. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Policy. *Indicates required.

I would like to be updated on...