17 Mar 2016

Employment

Flexible working requests

Flexible Working

Many discrimination claims arise from denied flexible working requests.  We can help you respond to these requests and avoid costly, disruptive discrimination claims. Here’s everything you need to know about responding to flexible working requests.

Flexible working requests

As an employer, you should aim to respond to flexible working requests within 3 months, although this can be longer if agreed with the employee in person. If you agree to the application then you must formally write to the employee with a statement about the agreed changes and an official start date for the flexible working to commence.  You’ll also need to update the employee’s contract to correspond with the agreed terms and conditions. Realistically, this needs to be done as soon as possible, and must be completed no later than 28 days after the request was approved.

Rejecting an application for flexible working is a little more complex. You must disclose your reasons for rejecting the application, legitimate reasons for refusing include:

  • Inflicting extra costs that will harm the business
  • Inability to reorganize workload amongst staff
  • People can’t be recruited to manage the workload
  • Quality and performance will be affected
  • The business will be unable to meet customer demand
  • There’s a lack of work to be done during the proposed working times
  • The business has plans to change the workforce

The appeals process

By law, employees do not have a statutory right to appeal. With that being said, offering an appeals process will help you to demonstrate and prove that you’re handling requests in a reasonable manner. The ACAS Code, which Tribunals must take account of, also recommends that a right to appeal is offered.

If there’s a problem, you need to talk to your employee ASAP in order to try and resolve the problem. If you need help putting flexible working procedures in place, give us a call on 01633 244233 or email Daniel Wilde  on wilded@hevans.com

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