Are you prepared for flexible working?

The new Flexible Working Regulations came into effect on 30 June 2014 extending the right to request flexible working to all employees who have been employed for 26 weeks, not just those with parental or carer responsibilities. Employers must know what to do should they receive such a request.

Applications must be in writing setting out the type of flexible working arrangement, when the proposed change would start and how the employer might cope with the change to working hours.

Employers have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner. This involves:
– Weighing up the advantages to the employee against any difficulties for the employer
– Arranging a meeting with the employee to discuss the request
– Dealing with requests promptly
– If the request is refused then reasons must be given in writing
– Having an appeals process in place

To refuse a request the employer must base their case on one of the grounds set out in the legislation, such as the burden of extra costs, the detrimental effect on the quality, performance or service of the business or the inability to provide the necessary staff cover.

This legislation applies to all employers so they need to be prepared and know how to react should they receive a request. Please contact us for more information.