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How to make a Flexible working request

A flexible working request is a formal application made by an employee to their employer requesting flexible working arrangements.

Apply for flexible working with this flexible working request. Set out your proposed working pattern and suggest how the business can deal with any disruption as a result of your new working pattern. This application covers the requirements for a statutory request when the new working pattern starts and an optional trial period for the new working pattern.

Use this flexible working request if you:

  • have not made a request for flexible working in the previous 12 months
  • would like to submit a statutory request for flexible working (as opposed to an informal request)
  • have been employed for at least 26 weeks

This flexible working request covers:

  • the proposed new working pattern
  • how any disruption to the business as a result of the new pattern will be dealt with
  • when the new working pattern will commence
  • the option for a trial period of the proposed working pattern

A flexible working application forms part of the formal process to request flexible working. It keeps a record of the proposed working arrangements and demonstrates the staff's eagerness to accommodate the business' interests with a new working pattern.

To be able to apply for flexible working, the staff must:

  • be an employee (ie not a worker or consultant)
  • have worked continuously for the same employer for at least 26 weeks, and
  • have not made a formal flexible working request in the previous 12 months.

Flexible working includes:

  • working fewer or different hours, eg part-time
  • working fewer days, eg annualised or compressed hours, and/or
  • working from a different place, eg working from home.

The application for flexible working is usually followed by a meeting with the employer to discuss the proposed working arrangements. If the request is accepted, this will result in a permanent change to the employee's employment contract.

The employer can reject the application for several reasons (eg if flexible working would affect the business performance). In any case, employees should be able to appeal the decision within 14 days from the rejection date.

Employees can make a claim to an employment tribunal if the employer:

  • didn't handle the request in a 'reasonable manner'
  • dismissed or treated an employee poorly because of their request
  • rejected an application based on incorrect facts

The whole application process, from the initial request to the employer's final decision, should take no longer than three months (unless otherwise agreed by the employee).

Ask a lawyer if:

  • the reason for requiring a flexible work pattern relates to a disability or other reasons of equality
  • you think your flexible working request has been unreasonably rejected

This flexible working application is governed by the law of England and Wales or the law of Scotland.

Other names for Flexible working request

Flexible working application.