Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - not just parents and carers. This is known as making a statutory application.
Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible.
What employers must do
Employers must deal with requests in a reasonable manner.
Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include:
- assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
- holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee
- offering an appeal process
If an employer does not handle a request in a reasonable manner, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.
An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so.