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Flexibility Requests

Updated: Jun 4

At some point in their working lives, and for any number of reasons, employees might need some flexibility to their working hours, or working arrangements. The request might be for a temporary adjustment or for something more permanent.

When it comes to flexibility requests, employees have certain rights, and the law was updated in April this year.

Hopefully, the following updates will help you to negotiate any flexibility requests from your team:

(1) Employees can now submit a request for flexibility from the very first day of their employment with you. There is no longer a qualifying period.

(2) Employees can submit two flexibility requests in a 12 month period.

(3) You won't be able to reject a request without consulting with the employee first.

(4) You now have two months to make a decision on a request, as opposed to the three months previously allowed.

It's important for you to get the best from your team, and some flexibility, whether on a short term or longer term basis, could have a positive effect on the performance of an employee.

Flexibility requests will need to be fully considered against operational needs, and a straight 'no' can't be the automatic response (check out update 3). In some cases there could be significant benefits for an organisation too.

Remember also, to be consistent with your approach to requests for flexibility, and to keep clear of any discrimination risks.

If you need any help with flexibility requests, or would like to implement a Flexible Working Policy, please contact the helm team at:

Please note, this article has been written based on the current ACAS Code, and should not be treated as legal advice.

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