Six Steps To Implementing Flexible Working In Your Business

The laws on flexible working have changed recently and here at aspire cambridge we’ve been called upon by a few employers who have non compliant flexible working policies in place, so we wanted to take this chance to help you ensure that your business is compliant.

It is essential that you have a flexible working policy and procedure in place; this must explain the steps that an employee should follow if they choose to make a flexible working request. It is recommended that you include some points that the employee may want to consider before requesting flexible working and perhaps discuss these points with the employee again when discussing their flexible working request.

Who Can Apply for Flexible Working?

In order to be eligible to request flexible working you must:

  • be an employee (not an agency worker or office holder)
  • have at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment with the Company at the date the application is made
  • not have made a request under the statutory scheme for at least 12 months

What Kind of Changes could an Employee Request?

  • the hours the are required to work
  • the times when they are required to work
  • part-time working
  • job-sharing
  • working term-time only
  • working shifts
  • where they are required to work

What the Employee Needs To Consider When Submitting a Flexible Working Request

The employee will need to think about their working plan to ensure that they achieve the aims of the business and success in their role within the company as well as the financial implications their flexible working request may have on them and if this is still a suitable decision for them. The employee will also need to consider what effects their flexible working will have on the company and how these changes can be accommodated or considered to be of benefit to the business.

How the Flexible Working Application Is To Be Submitted

In your flexible working policy you need to clearly state how the flexible working request must be submitted. You will need to include that the request needs to be made in writing, dated and that the request must state that it is an application under the statutory right to apply for flexible working arrangements.

The policy must also state that the employee needs to include if a previous request was made and when, as well as including the change required and when the employee would like that change to become effective. The policy must also inform the employee to explain in their request what effect, if any, the change they are applying for will have on the business and how this effect could be dealt with.

This flexible working request must be handed into their line manager to review the application.

The Flexible Working Procedure for the Employer

Once you have received a flexible working request from an employee and you have already discussed the details informally you can agree to the formal request without discussing the matter further with the employee.

Alternatively you can arrange to meet with the employee after the flexible working request has been received so you can discuss how this can work for both the employee and the business in more detail.

From the time you receive the written request the employer must complete the formal process, including any appeal within 3 months.

An employee only has the right to request flexible working every 12 months.

You must ensure that your employee understands that any changes that are approved are considered permanent changes to their contract of employment and there is no guarantee in the future of reverting back to the original terms.

If you’d like us to review your flexible working policy under a free, no obligation HR Health Check, contact us today on 01223 855441.