Can anyone ask for flexible working hours?
Originally, the right to request flexible working was limited to parents of young children. However, it is now available to all employees who have been employed for at least 26 weeks.
The kinds of change that can be applied for are: changes to hours worked, changes to the times worked and changes to the place of work.
Employees can trigger the request for flexible working procedure by making a written request, which employers have to deal with within a 3 month period. The right is to make a request and is not a right to flexible working itself.
Employers must deal with requests for flexible working in a reasonable manner and can only refuse a request for one or more of 8 specified reasons, which essentially means that an employer must have a good business reason. Only one request for flexible working can be made in a 12 month period.
If an employer accepts the employee's flexible working request, the new work pattern will be a contractual variation to the employee's employment and will be permanent, unless otherwise agreed.