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MEMBERS NEWS - Employment Law Advice for Employers

03 Sep 2014

New legislation on Employee Flexible Working Requests

On 30th June 2014 - the law changed with regards to the right of employees to request flexible working. This meant that any employee can now make a request for flexible working. Prior to this change, only employees who cared for certain children or adults could make a request under the statutory provisions.

The change means that any employee who has been employed for 26 weeks’ or more can make an application in writing to their employer and the employer is under an obligation to consider the request, meet with the employee to discuss and notify them of the outcome within 3 months.

The types of change that an employee can ask for are changes relating to; hours they work; times when they are required to work; and a change to their place of work.

The employer will have to discuss the request with the employee and they must deal with the application in a reasonable manner.

Although anyone can now make an application there is no obligation upon an employer to agree to the request. An employer can refuse the request for one (or more) of the eight reasons set out in the legislation:

  1. The burden of additional costs;
  2. Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;
  3. Inability to reorganise work among existing staff;
  4. Inability to recruit additional staff;
  5. Detrimental impact on quality;
  6. Detrimental impact on performance;
  7. Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
  8. Planned structural changes.

The grounds upon which an employee could possibly complain to the Employment Tribunal about their application are if the employer:

  • Fails to deal with their application in a reasonable manner;
  • Fails to notify them of the decision within the decision period;
  • Fails to rely one of the statutory grounds when refusing their application;
  • Bases its decision on incorrect facts
  • Treats the application as withdrawn when the grounds entitling the employer to do so do not apply.

If you would like a free flexible working procedure, which includes all of the administrative steps that you are required to take, then please download a copy at

For more information please contact Alison Colley on 023 8098 2006.

Alison Colley is a specialist employment solicitor who provides advice and assistance on all aspects of HR and Employment Law to employers and employees.