Guide index - HR employment law and your business

Right to apply for flexible working

Employees who qualify by having 26 weeks continuous employment with their employer have a right to apply to vary their contract of employment to allow flexible working.

Their employer must consider that application and may only refuse it where the employer considers that specified grounds apply.

A qualifying employee may apply to their employer for a change in his or her contract of employment so long as the change relates to:

Only one application may be made in 12 months and it must be in writing.

After an application is made the employer has a duty to deal with it in a reasonable manner and inform the applicant of the decision within three months.

The employer can refuse the application if it is considered that one or more of the following grounds apply:

If the employer has failed to deal with the application or the employee considers that the employer has decided the application on incorrect facts then the employee can complain to an Employment Tribunal who may order the employer to reconsider the application or award compensation up to eight weeks’ pay (limited to the same statutory amount as a week’s pay for redundancy and unfair dismissal compensation).