Editor's message: Flexible working allows employees to shape their working week around other commitments or outside interests. Many employees have the legal right to request flexible working - a statutory request can be made after 26 weeks’ continuous service.
Your organisation could benefit in a number of ways from promoting a culture of flexible working, including attracting a wider range of candidates for roles, increasing productivity and reducing absence levels.
If an employee makes a statutory request to work flexibly, you are not obliged to agree to it, but you are required to give it serious consideration and handle the request in a reasonable manner. There are certain permissible grounds for refusing a request, such as the burden of additional costs or an inability to reorganise work among existing staff or recruit additional staff. If you are unable to agree outright to an employee's request, you may be able to agree a compromise.
Fiona Cuming, employment law editor
More than a quarter of women polled in a recent survey by Workingmums had their flexible working request turned down, and nearly one in five has had to leave her job because her request was refused. Bar Huberman outlines nine common flexible working request pitfalls for employers.
We look at flexible working requests, focusing on the issues that may arise when women returning from maternity leave request a change to their working hours.
We explore the law on the right to request flexible working and, with reference to two recent employment tribunal decisions, discuss how employers should respond to employees' requests to return to work on a part-time basis following maternity leave.
With flexible working requests set to increase, including from men, how should employers respond? Jane Wheeler, partner at Hine Legal, looks at employers' legal responsibilities and offers good-practice tips.
This employment tribunal held that an employer properly handled a new mother's rejected flexible working request to work from home primarily in the evenings.
This employment tribunal held that it was not indirect sex discrimination for a small investment banking firm to require a single-parent mother to work full time as an executive secretary.
We discuss dealing with flexible working requests, including the wider benefits of flexible working for employee wellbeing and addressing gender pay imbalances in the workplace.
All roles should be advertised as flexible unless there is a strong and continuing business reason otherwise, a committee of MPs has concluded in a report on the gender pay gap.
Additional information on the law on the right to request flexible working for NHS employers. To be read in conjunction with the general information on the law on the right to request flexible working.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the right to request flexible working.