Do I have to re-apply for flexible working?

I currently have a permanent Flexible Working Regulation agreement with my employer involving shift working reduced to a 34-hour per week contract with set rest days. I have been offered promotion from a closed grade to a new ‘fair and sustainable’ pay scale with new terms and conditions. I have been told that I will lose my agreement and will have to apply for flexible working via work life balance which will be reviewed every six months. Is this correct even though I will still be employed by the same employer?

Woman working part-time from home


The Legal Answer:

When you change your contract the new contract will include the new Flexible Working Regulations and right to request Flexible Working (which came into force on 30 June 2014) which will mean that:

a. You should check the flexible work policy in your contract and staff handbook

b. You can only make one statutory request in a 12-month period

c. You should make a request in writing, with the date of the application to change the working condition you are seeking and when you’d like the change to come into effect

d. You will need to state what effects you think the requested change would have on your employer and how, in your opinion, any such effects might be dealt with.

You do not have a statutory right to request another variation in contractual terms for 12 months, although you can ask for flexible working without it being a statutory right to ask. There could be a right to appeal if the employer does not deal with the application correctly.

The Practical Answer:

Although any employee may now request fleixble working, and not just those who have family responsibilities, it may well help your case in this situation to state the reason, eg family (children, caring responsibilities…..). You can, however, negotiate with your employer to seek to keep your special working arrangement, showing how this would benefit the organisation. If the employer is keen to promote you, they obviously see value in keeping you in the organisation. Any flexible working could be on a trial basis so you can show that it can work with your new responsibilities.

*Shân Veillard–Thomas assisted in the preparation of this answer. 

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