Are you considering flexible working? Any employee who has worked continuously for 26 weeks or more with the same employer can make a flexible working request, and the employer must give it reasonable consideration.
The term ‘flexible working’ can cover a range of different working patterns, or location.
For example it could be part time hours, but it could also be flexi-time, compressed working hours (ie fitting full time hours into less days), job sharing, working from home or even annualised hours where you might work more hours in the Summer than Winter, for example, but get paid the same each month.
To start, it might be worth reading our comprehensive guide to flexible working.
When you are ready to request flexible working from your employer, you will have to make a formal request in writing. Below is a letter template, along with suggestions of things you should think about in order to make your case for flexible working.
Alternatively you can download the letter template here: Flexible working request letter ( including tips & examples)
Company / Employer’s Name
Dear [insert name]
REQUEST FOR FLEXIBLE WORK
I am due to return from my Maternity Leave on [XXX] OR I have previously taken Maternity Leave on [XXX], and I am responsible for the upbringing of my child and would like to request an amendment to my working pattern to better accommodate such responsibilities.
[If you haven’t had maternity leave, but want to request flexible working, you can start the letter below]
This is a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996, for flexible work.
I confirm I have at least 26 weeks of service. (note – there is no requirement to confirm your length of service but there’s no harm in doing so)
[I have not previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996.]
[I have previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996 on [Date]]
My current working pattern is… (note – there is no requirement to explain your current working pattern but it seems sensible to do so)
I would like my new working pattern to be…[Insert details of working pattern e.g. reduced hours, homeworking, job-sharing etc].
I think the effects the new pattern would have on the business would be…
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Think about how it will work with your job – do you know if there are any set days when you have regular meetings? Days when you must do set work e.g. reports – make it as hard as possible for your employer to reject your application on such reasons.
Think about others’ working patterns – if you know there are already others in your office that have a day off, then perhaps think about a working pattern which will complement their hours, and provide more cover for the business overall. Employers will need to have sufficient cover, so by offering alternative days this shouldn’t be a reason for them to reject your request.
One of the key reasons flexible working is rejected is businesses believe that meeting customers’ needs and supporting business, maybe be compromised. Turn this into a positive for example, “by accepting my desires to work at different times will help to extend opening hours or increase service levels.”
Flexible working can be used as a recruitment and retention tool i.e. my new pattern will enable me to stay at work, and still spend time with my child, ensuring a fair work- life balance. As a business offering flexible working at recruitment stage shows a more family friendly company, which is more desirable for new recruits.
It also has a positive impact on motivation, employees who work flexibly tend to put more effort into the time they are working, as they know they won’t be in the office as much.
I think these effects could be dealt with by…
Some examples are
[I am asking for this request to…] (note – while there is no requirement to do so, the ACAS guidance suggests that employees should state if their request is made in relation to the Equality Act. It may help an employer decide your application if they understand the reasons behind it.)
I would like the new working pattern to come into force on [date] (note – the change is a permanent change to your terms and conditions unless agreed otherwise)
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