Responding to a flexible working request

When an employee has a right to make a flexible working request

Some employees will have a legal (‘statutory’) right to ask for a change to their contract with a ‘flexible working request’.

For example, they might ask to:

  • reduce their hours to work part time
  • change their start and finish time
  • have flexibility with their start and finish times (sometimes known as ‘flexitime’)
  • do their hours over fewer days (‘compressed hours’)
  • work from home or elsewhere (‘remote working’)
  • share the job with someone else

The change could be for:

  • all working days
  • specific days or shifts only
  • specific weeks only, for example during school term time
  • a limited time, for example for 6 months only

Who has the right to request

Employees have the right to make a flexible working request if:

  • you’ve employed them for at least 26 weeks
  • they’re legally classed as an employee
  • they’ve not made another flexible working request in the last 12 months

If the request is from a parent or carer

The right to request flexible working applies to all employees, including those who are:

  • parents
  • carers
  • women returning from maternity leave

Requests from parents or carers should not be prioritised over requests from other employees.

There might be other ways parents or carers can take time off work. For example, using parental leave or time off for dependants.

Responding to a flexible working request