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Legal corner: The right to request flexible working (Updated)

Published 08 July 2014

As of the 30th June 2014 all employees have the right to apply for a more flexible working  agreement if they have:

  • worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously at the date that the application is made
  • not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months

The request can cover hours of work, times of work and place of work and may include requests for different patterns of work.

  • Employees must have 26 weeks continuous employment at the date the application is made.
  • Employers have statutory duty to consider applications.
  • Once agreed it becomes a permanent change to the contract of employment.
  • An employee has the right to appeal if necessary against the outcome.
  • Negotiate an agreement if requested hours are not possible.
  • Only one application can be made in a 12 months period.

There are many forms of flexible working. It can describe a place of work, for example, home-working, or a type of contract, such as a temporary contract. Other common variations include: part-time working, flexitime, job sharing and shift working.

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