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Flexible working claims frequently asked questions

Currently, you have the right to request flexible working after completing 26 weeks’ service with your employer. However, recent consultations and discussions have suggested that this may be changed to a “day one right”, whereby you can make requests on your first day if you wish to.
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, employees are entitled to make requests for flexible working to their employer. Requests must: Be submitted in writing;
  • Include the date, details of the flexible working and when you wish for it to happen;
  • Explain how this change in working would impact you as an employee;
  • Include a brief statement of the request being statutory.
According to the ACAS Flexible Working Code of Practice, employers must consider all requests and “arrange to talk with the employee as soon as possible after receiving their written request.” Your employer is only required to hold a proper meeting with you if they intend on rejecting the request. As an employee you are allowed to bring a colleague with you to this meeting. Find out more about the ACAS Flexible Working Policy >>
You may be able to take legal action against your employer in the following scenarios:
  • You have submitted a reasonable flexible working request and they have rejected it with no reason;
  • You have followed the statutory procedure for flexible working and your employer has refused to acknowledge this, or follow statutory procedure themselves.
There may be cause for a flexible working discrimination claim, depending on the actions of your employer following your request.
You may decide to try and settle your flexible working dispute with your employer by way of conciliation. If conciliation doesn’t work, you could then try the ACAS Arbitration Scheme. Failure to handle a statutory flexible working requests in a reasonable manner can be the subject of a tribunal claim under s.80H of the Employment Rights Act 1996. You can pursue your claim at the Employment Tribunal if:
  • You can prove that your statutory request was not given reasonable consideration;
  • The statutory request procedure was mishandled and your legal rights were infringed;
  • You were the subject of discrimination;
  • Your employer dismissed you for making a flexible working request.
Arbitration is free, voluntary and legally binding.
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