News Updates

Flexible Working - Extension of Right to Request

Tuesday 1st July 2014

The right to request flexible working has now been extended to all employees with at least 26 weeks' continuous service. Previously the right was only available to parents of children under 17 (18 if the child is disabled) or to carers of adults.

Requests can only be refused for specified reasons, which include the burden of additional costs, detrimental effect on quality or the ability to meet customer demand, or the inability to reorganise work among existing staff.

The maximum compensation for a breach of the statutory right to request is 8 weeks’ pay. However, it is likely that an employee may link a refusal to another claim, for example discriminatory treatment or constructive unfair dismissal.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said 20 million people now had the right to ask to work flexibly, forecasting 182,000 requests per year, with 81,000 attributable to the new right.

All information in this update is intended for general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive, or to provide legal advice.