Right to request flexible working

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: All employees who have a minimum of 26 weeks’ continuous service have the right to request flexible working. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has estimated that approximately 20 million people currently qualify for this right.

The right to request flexible working gives employees the possibility of shaping their working week around their other commitments or outside interests. Employers are not obliged to agree a request, but they are required to give it serious consideration and handle the request in a reasonable manner.

A request may be rejected if the reason for refusing it falls within one of the grounds set out in the legislation. A key consideration for employers is how to deal with competing requests from employees in wide-ranging situations. This is a popular question in the FAQs section of our resources. Please email me if you have any suggestions for new FAQs or if there is any other aspect you would like covered in our resources.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

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