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Employee’s Right to request Flexible Working

The Flexible Working Regulations have been amended today.
The headlines are:
• The right to request will now cover all employees, not just those who have children under 17 or are carers …
• However the employee must have 26 weeks (6 months) continuous service with you
• The employee has a right to request but the employer only has a duty to consider – it is not an automatic right – just because an employee has requested, it does not have to be agreed
• The employer must consider requests reasonably – you can’t just reject all applications and pretend to have considered them
• Employees have a right to appeal if their request is rejected
• Requests are negotiable – if an employee asks to cut their hours to 3 days per week, you could counter offer 4 days if that is more realistic
• Once any change has been agreed, it becomes a permanent change to the contract of employment, though you can decide to put changes in place for a trial period
• Only one application can be made per employee in a 12 month period
ACAS have 2 excellent guides available: