This is a model Flexible Working Policy. It can be amended to suit the needs of your business and you can offer more generous terms and conditions. This policy reflects an employee’s minimum legal rights. You cannot offer employees less than their minimum legal rights.
NOTE: Legislation is making its way through government to amend the law around statutory flexible working requests. It is anticipated changes will include:
• The right to request will become a day one right for employees, rather than limited to those with at least 26 weeks’ service
• Employees will be able to make up to two requests a year (up from a single annual request)
• The maximum response time will be cut from three to two months
• Employers will have to consult with the employee before refusing any request
• The requirement for employees to set out how the effects of their flexible working request might be dealt with by the employer will be removed
This policy covers all employees.
Best Practice options
• If you want to provide terms and conditions that are better than the statutory minimum you can consider providing the following as part of your flexible working policy:
• Allowing more than one request per year.
• Allowing flexible work requests from day one of employment.
• Agreeing to consult / meet with the employee to discuss the request and any alternative options
• Allowing a phased return for up to three months following any period of maternity or parental leave, including part-time working, reduced hours and/or working from home.
• Agreeing a trial period to “road test” the flexible working request
• Allowing an appeal following rejection of a request
• Allowing a colleague, friend or family member to attend the flexible working meeting as well
Flexible Working Policy
The aim of [the Company’s] Flexible Working Policy is to help all staff achieve a more balanced work and home life. Eligible employees have the right to request:
• A change in the hours they work (for example full time to part time).
• A change to the times they work (for example, compressed hours, term time only hours, mornings / evenings only, fixed shifts, flexible shifts).
• To work from home / on a hybrid basis.
• Any combination of the above
The right to request flexible working
To be eligible to make a statutory request for flexible working you must:
• Have at least 26 weeks service with [the Company] by the time you make your request.
You can only make one request in any 12-month period.
If your flexible request is agreed in full or in part, or if any other changes are agreed to your contract, these will be a permanent change [unless the Company agrees in writing otherwise with you].
Your application should be in writing and must be dated. It should state each of the following:
• That it is a statutory application for flexible working under s80F ERA 1996.
• Whether you have made any previous requests and if so, when.
• The changes for which you are applying and the date on which you propose the changes should come into effect.
• What effect, if any, you think the changes will have on the Company and how you believe these might be dealt with.
Best practice: Provide your employee with a template flexible working application that they can use [see below]
Within [7/10/14] days of receiving your application, a meeting will be arranged [with your manager [and HR] to discuss the changes you have proposed. Further alternative working patterns may be discussed during the meeting.
Note: the Company must deal with a flexible working request in a reasonable manner (which would include dealing with it promptly). In any event the final decision on the flexible working request (including any appeal) must be made and communicated with 3 months of the date of the application.
Best practice: You may bring a work colleague or trade union representative [who also works for the Company] to any meeting held with you to discuss your flexible working application.
You will be notified in writing of the outcome of the meeting within [7/10/14] days of the meeting. If the Company agrees to make changes to your working patterns, the notification will detail the agreed changes to your terms and conditions of employment and the date on which they will become effective. You will need to sign one copy of the document to confirm your acceptance of the changes to your contract of employment.
If the Company does not agree to your proposed changes, it will explain in writing to you the business grounds for this and the reasons why your application cannot be accommodated. The Company may put forward some alternative proposals for you to consider.
Best practice: Consider offering a right of appeal
The right to appeal
You have the right to appeal the decision of the Company within [7/10/14] days of receiving the Company’s decision. You must set out your appeal in writing, giving the reasons for your appeal. You must sign and date your letter.
Within [7/10/14] days of receiving your appeal letter, the Company will arrange a further meeting with you to discuss your appeal.
You may bring a work colleague or trade union representative [who also works for the Company] to the appeal meeting.
You will be notified in writing of the outcome of the appeal meeting within [14 days]. The notification will either outline your new terms and conditions of employment and the date from which they come into effect or explain the reasons why your appeal has been rejected.
TEMPLATE FOR MAKING A FLEXIBLE WORKING APPLICATION:
This is a statutory request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996.
I have not previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996 /
I have previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996 on [Date]] [delete as applicable]
I would like my new working pattern to be:
I think this new work pattern would have the following effects on the business:
I think these effects could be dealt with by the following:
I am asking for this request in order to: