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Flexible Working

Flexible Working


Under provisions set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996 and regulations made under it, all employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service have a statutory right to ask their employer for a change to their contractual terms and conditions of employment to allow them to work more flexibly. Only one request can be made in any 12 month period (unless the employer chooses to consider a request within that timeframe on a discretionary basis).

Before 30th June 2014 the right only applied to parents of children under 17 (18 if the child was disabled) or to those with caring responsibilities for an adult. An employee making a request can now do so for any reason and does not need to specify what that reason is in order to be eligible.

The right gives employees a framework whereby their request must be given due consideration by their employer; there is no automatic right to have the application granted.


What's in this topic area:

Our guidance and information section contains a downloadable guide to flexible working, including how a request should be made and responded to, how a manager should consider a request and the grounds on which a request can be rejected.

Templates and tools includes an example application form, template letters that can be used to work through the process of a flexible working request and example employee guidance suitable to give to an employee considering a request or for inclusion in a staff handbook.

If you have a particular question you might also want to consult our FAQs to see if it is covered.

Use the links on the right to access all subtopics.

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