In recent years there has been a growing demand for flexible working, as employees seek a better work-life balance.  

From 30th June 2014, all employees with 26 weeks or more of service will be eligible to request a change to their working hours for any reason.  Prior to this, the Flexible Working Regulations only covered parents with children under 17 years or 18 in the case of a disabled child.

This guide provides advice on what you can do to prepare for these changes.

1.  Introduce a new (or update your existing) flexible working policy – this will ensure:

  • Requests are managed fairly and consistently
  • Employees understand the procedure for making request
  • Disputes are minimised

2.  Consider  training for those who will deal with requests for flexible working –  this will ensure that they are well placed to take decisions on flexible working requests and are better placed to see how flexible working could work for a specific employee from a practical perspective.

3. Consider how you may deal with multiple requests for flexible working – For example, you may not be able to accommodate all requests, so consideration needs to be given to the business reasons for refusing a request and managing this appropriately with the employee concerned.

4. Be aware of the acceptable business reasons for refusing a request.  For example, if the burden of additional costs was prohibitive or the proposed change would have a detrimental impact on quality.

It’s important to remember that there is no obligation on the employer to agree automatically to a request for flexible working. The employee’s right is to request flexible working and for this request to be given proper consideration, not to have it on demand. 

For more information, contact Ramshaw HR @


By Bruce Ramshaw

Principal Consultant


Book your personal HR consultation today