Tracerecruit - our guide to flexible working changes


Trace – Guide to Flexible Working changes

From the 30th June 2014 every employee has the statutory right to request flexible working after 26 weeks of continuous service.

What does this mean?

-          Pre 30th June the right to request flexible working only applied to the parents of children under the age of 17 or 18 in the case of parents with disabled children or those caring for an adult. Now any eligible employee can request the right to work flexibly for any reason


-          A flexible working request can include:

  • A change in number of working days
  • A change in working hours (including the total number of hours)
  • A change in the location of work i.e. working from home
  • Other terminology may include, compressed working hours, job sharing and term-time sharing


-          What is the recommended way of applying for a flexible request:

  • In writing to your Line Manager and HR. With the request detail, why, and start date
  • When applying the employee should consider what working pattern will best suit the stated circumstances, the financial implications and the impact on the team/business


-          Reasons for refusing flexible working must fall under 1 or more of 8 reasons:

  • Burden of additional costs
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet client 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 you want to work
  • Planned structural changes


-          Previously time limits for dealing with requests were strict. For example discussing a request within 28 days of receiving it, and then providing a response within 15 days. Recommended time limits under the new legislation are now 3 months including any appeals.


-          A key point for our clients is to consider how to you will deal with multiple requests within teams. Having a Company Policy in place, for clarity is important


It will be interesting to see how employees without caring responsibilities will be able to make any legal claim for an unfair refusal of their request.

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