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Flexible working (ACAS)

Your options for flexible working

If you have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks (including any period on maternity leave), as the parent of a child under age six (or under 18 if the child has a disability), you normally have the right to ask your employer for a change in your work arrangements to help you care for your child. The sort of changes you might ask for include:

  • Part time work: this of course reduces your pay
  • Change in hours: for example, flexi-time, staggering your hours (say 8.00am to 4.00pm instead of 9.00am to 5.00pm) or shorter hours. If you work less, you will be paid less
  • Compressed hours:Working the same hours but to a different pattern, for example 8.00am to 6.00pm four days a week instead of 9.00am to 5.00pm five days a week)
  • Term time working: being able to take unpaid leave during school holidays
  • Home Working: this could be for part or the whole of the working week
  • Job-sharing: splitting your job and pay with someone else

What your employer must do

Your employer must seriously consider your request but can turn it down if there are genuine business reasons for doing so

How to apply

You must apply in writing, eg. a letter or email. Your employer might have a standard form (ask the HR department). You need to cover these points:

  • Statutory right - State that you are applying under your statutory right to request flexible working
  • Eligibility - Confirm that you are responsible for a child and your relationship to the child
  • The change you are seeking - Explain the change in work arrangements that you want and how it helps you to care for your child
  • Explain the effect on your employer and how any problems can be overcome - Consult and report the views of colleagues who may be affected
  • State when you want the change to start - Allow at least 14 weeks
  • Date your application

What if your request is turned down?

You have 14 days to appeal in writing. Your employer must arrange an appeal meeting. If your request is turned down again, your only resort is to your firm's grievance procedure or an outside body, such as an employment tribunal.

For more information please use the contact details provided, or alternatively contact FiND for a copy of the 'Flexible Working' provided by ACAS.

Who to contact

0300 123 1100
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