An Employee has a Statutory right to request a Flexible Working arrangement provided: (i) they are in fact an Employee; (ii) they have been employed continuously for 26 weeks; and, (iii) that they have not made a request (even if the request was different or in respect of a different person and even if the request was withdrawn) within the previous 12 months.
The request can only be made in order to care for: a child under 17 years old; a disabled child under 18; or certain adults.
Parents and carers can make a request. The definition of parent is wide and ranges from biological to adoptive and also to spouses and partners of parents.
Flexible Working is a wide term and can include changing working times or number of hours worked. It can also include working from home, job sharing and flexi time.
There is a specific process that must be followed which includes an Employer and Employee meeting to discuss the request within 28 days and the Employee being notified of the decision within 14 days of it being made. The process also includes allowing an Employee the right to appeal a decision.
A Flexible Working request can only be refused on certain specified business grounds.
Only one request can be made in a 12 month period (a request made but then withdrawn still counts as a request made).
The Flexible Working Documents - Employer Pack includes letters dealing with:
Flexible Working Requests;
Form FW(B) - Acceptance of Application;
Form FW(C) - Rejecting a Request;
Form FW(E) - Reply to Appeal Notice; and
Form FW(F) - Request for Extending time Limits.