Flexible working means making changes to the hours and times when an employee is contractually obliged to work. This coulkd be part time working, flexi-time, job sharing or working from home. Many employers recognise the value of allowing their staff to have some flexibility regarding their working hours and employers are free to decide themselves the conditions of the employment as long as it is within the law.
Anyone can ask for flexible working. You simply approach your employer and ask them if you can change your schedule. Of course, the employer can reject any requests you make, however your employer is leagally bound to consider your application for flexible working under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Essentially, the employer has a duty to consider your request, hoever they are under no duty to grant it!
Employees should meet certain conditions before they have a right to request flexible working conditions – these are
- Must be an employee, not an agency worker or in the armed forces
- Must have worked at least 26 weeks consecutively before putting in your request
- Must not have previously applied within 12 months
If you meet these conditions, you have the statutory right to ask for flexible working arrangements.