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Flexible Working

TWENTY

ONE

FlexibleWorking

Article by the HCA International Legal Department

How Far

can you Flex?

IF THE REQUEST COMPLIES

WITHTHESE REQUIREMENTS

YOU SHOULDTAKE THE

FOLLOWING STEPS:

Step1

Invite employee to meeting within 28

days.

Step 2

Advise employee of outcome within 14

days.

Step 3

Employee must appeal within 14 days.

Step 4

If employee appeals, hold meeting

within 14 days.

Step 5

Confirm appeal outcome within 14

days.

SOWHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?

Documentation!

Documentation!

Documentation!

You need to be able to justify any

decision you make objectively and be

able to demonstrate the reasons for the

decisions you take in an Employment

Tribunal.

It sometimes seems that employment legislation appears to be going in a one-way

direction – in favour of the employee. One such area is flexible working requests.

So what does the law say?

WHO CANASK FOR IT?

The law provides employees with the

statutory right to request a flexible

working pattern if they are:

• An employee, but not an agency

worker

• Have worked for you for 26 weeks

continuously before applying; and

• Have not made another application

to work flexibly under the right

during the past 12 months

AND

• Have or expect to have parental

responsibility of a child aged

under 18

• Have or expect to have parental

responsibility of a disabled child

under 18 who receives Disability

Living Allowance (DLA)

• Are the parent/guardian/special

guardian/foster parent/private

foster carer or as the holder of

a residence order or the spouse,

partner or civil partner of one of

these and are applying to care for

the child

• Are a carer who cares, or expects

to be caring, for an adult who is

a spouse, partner, civil partner or

relative; or who although not

related, lives at the same address

WHAT PROCEDURE MUST AN

EMPLOYEE FOLLOW?

If an employee has the statutory right

to apply, then there is a process that

they must follow.

The application must:

• Be made in advance of when they

want it to take effect

• Be in writing (whether on paper

or electronically)

• Be dated

• State that the application is made

under the statutory right to request

a flexible working pattern

• Give details of the flexible working

pattern the employee is applying for,

including the date from which they

want it to start

• Explain what effect the employee

believes the new working pattern

would have on you, and how any

effects might be dealt with

• State whether they have made a

previous application and, if so, when

If any of these conditions are not

met you do not have to consider the

application at all. If an employee takes

you to an Employment Tribunal for not

considering an application, you could

rely on the defence that the employee

has failed to provide you with the

required information.