A Guide to Flexible Working

There are many reasons as to why an employee may need to apply for flexible working time, but what exactly is flexible working time, why would you need it and how can you apply? There are a large number of employees that do not realise that they are entitled to apply for benefits such as this and so they will continue to struggle at their place for work with no idea as to how to change their situation. Here at Access to Barristers Direct we have written a brief guide to flexible working and how it can affect you.


What is Flexible Working?

Flexible Working is where an employee can work in a way that suits their needs or lifestyle requirements. Examples of reasons as to why an employee may be eligible for flexible working include needing to care for a sick relative, looking after children or illness.


The Different Types of Flexible Working

There are many different types of flexible working that you could apply for and each of them has its different benefits and limitations


Job Sharing is where two people have the same job but they work split hours to do the same job.


Working from Home is where an employee may have a reason as to why they need to stay home and so they complete their work whilst they are at home.


Part Time is where an employee usually works fewer hours by doing fewer days than other employees.


Compressed Hours is where an employee will work full time but over a shorter period of time, for instance the employee will work less days but longer hours.


Flexitime is where an employee will choose their own hours within a limit set by the employer; they will usually have to work core hours such as 10am-4pm.


Annualised Hours are not very common; this is where an employee has a contract to work a set amount of hours each year but they can also have a core amount of hours to complete each week. The rest of their hours can achieved when there is a high demand for work.


Staggered Hours is where a particular employee may have a different start, finish and break time to other employees within the same company.


Phased Retirement is where an individual has reached the default retirement age but wishes to continue working; as a result of this the employee can choose to reduce their hours and work part time rather than full time.


Zero Hour Contracts allow you to retain a position within a company even if you are not actively working for them. The employer is not legally obliged to provide you with work and the employee agrees to be available as and when they are required.


Applying for Flexible Working

When you are applying for flexible working there is a specific procedure that you must follow, this procedure is made up of four basic parts.


The first step is for you to write to your employer requesting the flexible working. You can ask for an application for or you can write an email that includes the following things:


  • The date the email was written,
  • The responsibility that is causing you to request flexible working,
  • A statement about the fact that the application is made under your statutory right to request flexible working time,
  • Details about the type of flexible working time that you are applying for
  • An explanation as to the consequences of the employee taking flexible working time and how the employer may be able to deal with these issues.


It is not necessary for the employee to include any other details in the email such as proof of their need for flexible working.


The second stage in the application process is for your employer to request a meeting with you in the next 28 days to discuss your application.


The third step involves another wait where your employer will give you their decision within 14 days of the meeting and will meet with you a second time to discuss their decision.


The fourth stage can go two ways. If your employer agrees to your application of flexible working they will provide you with a new contact. If your employer rejects your application for flexible working you will be given the chance to formally appeal against their decision.


For more information on flexible working and your rights within the work place you can get in touch with us here at Access to Barristers Direct.