Flexible Working

If you have responsibility as a parent for a child under 6 years old or if the child is disabled and under 18 years you have the right to request flexible working. You are also entitled to make an application to your employer for a variation of your contract to enable you to care for a person aged 18 or over and who is in need of care. That person must either be married to you or be your civil partner or be your relative or be living at the same address as you

If the request is to care for a child, then you are entitled to make the application if you have been employed for not less than 26 weeks. However you must be the mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent of the child or been married to or the partner of the child’s mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent. Finally you must have or reasonably expect to have responsibility for the upbringing of the child.

The changes need to relate to the number of hours that you can be required to work or the times you are required to work those hours or the place in which you are required to work those hours.

The contents of the form
The application must state that it is an application under Section 80F of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
You should explain your relationship with the child or adult for whom you will have responsibility and specify exactly what change you are applying for and when you propose that the change should take effect. You should point out what effects the change will have on your employer’s business and explain what you think the likely effects of your application will be. You should also state how in your opinion those effects could be dealt with by the employer. It is a good idea to explain your reasons for needing flexible working. The Department for Business, Enterpise and Regulatory Reform (previously known as the DTI) provides best practice forms. on their website.

Your employer must arrange a meeting with you within 28 days of receiving your application. This meeting is to discuss your proposals. You have the right to be accompanied by a representative at that meeting.
If you and your employer can agree a compromise at that meeting, your employer is obliged to write to you within 14 days confirming that agreement together with the start date for the agreed changes to your terms and conditions.

Your employer is obliged to accept your proposals unless your employer considers that one of a set of specific reasons applies. The reasons are:
· Burden of additional costs
· Detrimental effect on your employer’s ability to meet customer demand
· Inability to reorganise work among existing staff
· Inability to recruit additional staff
· Detrimental impact on quality
· Detrimental impact on performance
· Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
· Planned structural changes

Within 14 days of the meeting to discuss your proposal your employer must indicate in writing whether the proposal is accepted or rejected. If the proposal is rejected the notification must set out the business reasons. It must also give an explanation of why your request cannot be met. You then have a right to appeal within 14 days.

If your employer fails to accept your proposal or if your employer fails to establish a business case for rejecting your proposal for one of the above reasons, then you have the right to make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal. You can also complain if your employer has made a decision about your application based on incorrect facts.

If the Tribunal agrees with you it can either order your employer to reconsider your application or it can award you compensation (or a combination of both). However the maximum amount of compensation that may be awarded is 8 weeks’ pay and this is subject to a maximum of £310.00.per week (this figure is reviewed annually).

You should note however that if your employer refuses your application to work part-time this may amount to indirect sex discrimination contrary to the Sex Discrimination Act 1974. Similarly it may potentially amount to age discrimination. Again this would be indirect age discrimination.

You have a right to be protected against victimisation by your employer which arises out of the fact that you have made or propose to make an application for flexible working. You can complain to an Employment Tribunal and obtain compensation if you are subjected to any detriment (such as being refused promotion or denied bonuses or other benefits) on the ground of having made or proposing to make an application for flexible working. If you are dismissed for one of these reasons, your dismissal will be automatically unfair. You may make a complaint of unfair dismissal to the Employment Tribunal and receive compensation.

kitsiteLottery Funded