Flexible Parental Working Guidelines

Richard gregory portrait.

Richard Gregory

Consultant Solicitor

Phone 01264 353411

Email rgregory@bsandi.co.uk

The rigidity of the daily grind is an all-too-common complaint. While work is a huge part of most people’s lives, it is just that – apart. And the pursuit of a good balance between professional life and personal life is rarely off the average person’s agenda.

For many of us, altering some aspect of our working hours, working times, or the place from which we work – either temporarily or permanently - can be really beneficial. It can ease pressures. It can even make us better at what we do.  

So what would you change about your working day?

-          Start later?

-          Finish earlier?

-          Work school hours?

-          Job-share?

-          Work from home?

-          Condense hours into a shorter week?

There is no real limit to what can be agreed between an employee and their employer, as long as it’s within the law. And these days it’s not just parents and carers that can benefit from a formal right to request flexible working. Of course anyone can, and always has been able to, approach their employer less formally and agree a different working pattern. But a change in the law in 2014 has meant that all employees who have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service now have the right to make a statutory request for flexible working.

This doesn’t mean that you will get what you’ve asked for. But, being a statutory process, there are rules that both you and your employer must comply with. Perhaps the most significant of these is the obligation on your employer to treat your request reasonably and to only reject it for one or more of these reasons:

  • It would cost too much
  • There would be a detrimental effect on the business’ ability to meet customer demand
  • The business wouldn’t be able to reorganise work among existing staff
  • Additional staff could not be recruited
  • There would be a detrimental impact on quality
  • There would be a detrimental impact on performance
  • There wouldn’t be enough work during the periods the employee proposes to work; or
  • Planned structural changes (the proposed change(s) may not fit with the employer’s plans to, say, re-organise the business)

As UK employers continue to warm to different ways of working, our advice is simple: you have options.

If you are interested in finding out more about your employment rights for flexible working or indeed any other employment matter, please contact Richard Gregory on 01264 325811, via email: rgregory@bsandi.co.uk or via our free, no obligation, online enquiry form and Richard will be happy to assist with your query.

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