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about 2 years ago

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30 June 2014 saw the introduction of the right to request flexible working extended to all employees with over 26 weeks’ service under the Flexible Working Regulations 2014

An employee can make one request (which must be in writing) in any 12 month period and any such request can relate to an employee’s:


  • hours of work;
  • times when they are required to work;
  • and place they work

    An employer must then decide whether to accept or reject the request. An employer can only reject the request based on one or     more of the ‘statutory’ permitted reasons of which there are eight (there is no change to the old law here):

  • The burden of additional costs
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • Inability to reorganise work amongst 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

   What if my employer breaches the legislation?

    An employee will be able to bring a tribunal claim in relation to their request for flexible working if the employer has:

  • failed to deal with the request in a reasonable manner
  • failed to rely on one of the statutory grounds when refusing the application
  • based the decision on incorrect facts
  • wrongly treated the request as withdrawn
  • not made the decision in time