Consensus Employment Law

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Flexible Work

Flexible working can take many forms. It can describe a place of work, such as home-working, or a type of contract, such as a temporary contract. It can also include such variables as part-time working, flexitime, job sharing and shift working.

Parents of children aged 16 or under, or disabled children under the age of eighteen have the right to apply to work more flexibly.  To qualify to make a request, an employee must have:

  • worked for you for 26 weeks continuously at the date that the application is made
  • not have made another application to work flexibly during the previous 12 months

The request can cover hours, place of work and requests for different patterns of work.

The request must be in writing and must state the employee's relationship to the child, and give a proposed start date. It must also give details of any previous applications and set out what effect the flexible working pattern would have on your business.

You have a statutory duty to consider the request seriously and can only refuse it if there are clear business grounds for doing so.

The employee has the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or certified trade union representative at a meeting with you to discuss their request.

Carers of adults can also request to work flexibly. A 'carer' is an employee who is or expects to be caring for an adult who:

  • is married to, or the partner or civil partner of the employee; or
  • is a near relative of the employee; or
  • falls into neither category but lives at the same address as the employee

The 'near relative' definition includes parents, parent-in-law, adult child, adopted adult child, siblings (including those who are in-laws), uncles, aunts or grandparents and step-relatives.

Contact us for more information regarding flexible work.

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