Making a flexible working request

How to make a flexible working request

A flexible working request must be in writing.

Your request letter or email should say you’re making a ‘statutory flexible working request’ and must include:

  • the date you’re sending it
  • the change you’d like to make
  • when you’d like the change to start
  • how any effects the change could have on your work or the business might be dealt with
  • the date of any previous flexible working requests, if you’ve made any
  • if your request relates to something covered by the Equality Act 2010, for example to make a ‘reasonable adjustment’ for a disability you have

It can also help to include:

  • any benefits that the change could have to your work or the business (for example, cost-saving or doing shift times that others prefer not to do)
  • any benefits to your co-workers (for example, if a co-worker would like a job share, too)

Discussing the request

Your employer should set up a meeting to talk about your request before making a decision. 

If you go to a meeting, it can help to talk about:

  • the reasons you want the change
  • how any problems with making the change might be dealt with
  • any other options you might consider if the change is not possible

Bringing someone to the meeting

You can ask your employer if you can bring someone to a flexible working request meeting, for example, a co-worker or trade union representative.

There is no legal right to bring someone, so it’s up to your employer to agree.

Once your employer makes a decision

Once your employer has reviewed your request, they must let you know their decision. It’s a good idea to ask for the decision in writing.

They must make a decision within a maximum of 3 months of you making your request. If you do not get a decision within 3 months, you should raise the issue with your employer.