How to deal with Employee Requests for Flexible Working

Introduction

On 30 June 2014, the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous employment, not just those with caring responsibilities. When dealing with a request for flexible working, it is crucial for an employer to: follow the prescribed procedure; deal with the request in a reasonable manner and; provide justifiable reasons for rejecting the request. Failure to do any of the above, could leave the employer open to tribunal claims not only for its failure to abide by the law on flexible working, but also for falling foul of the sex discrimination and pregnancy/maternity discrimination laws under the Equality Act 2010.

This note considers the legal and best practice requirements for dealing with an employee’s request for flexible working.

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