Updates to Flexible Working Legislation

With effect from 30 June 2014, the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ qualifying service. Requests made prior to that date are subject to different rules.

An application for flexible working is an application for a permanent variation to the employee’s hours, time or place of work.

An application for flexible working must be made in writing and must contain specified information.

An employer that has received an eligible employee’s application for flexible working must deal with the application in a “reasonable manner”.

An employer that rejects an employee’s request for flexible working must have one or more specified reasons for doing so.

Flexible working claims may, with the agreement of both parties, be referred to arbitration under the Acas Arbitration Scheme.

An employee may not lawfully be dismissed, selected for redundancy, victimised or subjected to any other detriment for asserting his or her right to apply for flexible working.

Employers should be aware that refusal to grant a request for flexible working may lead to liability under the discrimination legislation.