Right to go part time if you are self employed

My wife and I are both self employed personal trainers within a gym. Before my wife went on maternity leave there was a verbal agreement that she could return part time, but she has since been told that she cannot reduce her hours.  Does being self employed within a gym mean after having a baby she can’t return part time?

With regards to the law on flexible working requests the following law applies:

In order to make a statutory request for flexible working, the following eligibility criteria apply:

  • A statutory request can only be made by an employee.
  • The employee must have 26 weeks’ continuous employment at the date the request is made.
  • Only one request may be made under the statutory scheme in any 12-month period.
  • Requests cannot be made by agency workers.

Only employees are able to take advantage of the statutory right and this right does not apply to self-employed workers, consultants or agency workers.

Of course, in order to answer this question fully, we would need to review any contractual documentation between your wife and her employer to see whether or not she is truly self-employed as she could be an employee irrespective of what her contract states. With this in mind, and if she were to be classed as an employee rather than a self-employed worker, there are still several ‘hurdles’ that need to be overcome in applying for flexible working.

*The information and opinions within this article are for information purposes only. They are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances.

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