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We take seriously our responsibility to keep you up to date so that you can use changes in employment law to commercial advantage. By understanding and interpreting the latest case law and legislation we can deliver updates to you that are concise and usable. With imagination, we are able to ensure that developing law can be used to allow you to achieve commercial solutions, cost effectively and expediently.

Dealing with flexible working requests

Posted on: December 8th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

There may be little flexibility in the process for dealing with flexible working requests according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in a recent case. Here’s the need-to-know detail: 

Background 

After the employer had rejected a flexible working request, an appeal hearing to review that decision was delayed beyond the three-month time limit. Despite the employee’s agreement to attend the appeal hearing, the employee claimed there was a breach of flexible working legislation. The EAT agreed, holding that the employee had consented to attend a delayed appeal hearing, but not an extension to the three-month period that the employer had to deal with the request.

Practical takeaways 

Agreements in writing – you can legitimately extend the three-month decision period (if required) with the employee’s specific agreement. Secure the employee’s agreement in writing to avoid any potential confusion or arguments to the contrary.

Don’t delay – the government are proposing to allow employees to request flexible working from the first day of their employment and to reduce the current three-month decision period. Following the case above and the proposed changes on the horizon being diligent with your decision-making is now even more important.

Metrics – don’t forget that no matter how quickly you respond to requests, being armed with clear, objective metrics is paramount to justify any requests you turn down.

If you need advice or support in managing flexible working requests – Intelligent Employment is here to help. Find out more.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (08 December 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.