Flexible working legislation exists to give employees additional freedom in the midst of their busy working lives, and allows a degree of personal choice when it comes to circumstances surrounding employment. Every workplace is different but there are of course a set of legally actionable laws which must be followed and respected by employers. Any queries about legal advice and flexible working in 2023 and beyond? Let the industry professionals at Swan Craig Solicitors take you through your options in this handy guide.
What Are An Employee’s Rights?
The rights of an employee to work on a flexible basis are outlined within the legislative document The Flexible Working Regulations 2014, though this is a loaded and somewhat complex collection of information. Legally, any employee with 26 weeks in a row of continuous employment can make a statutory request, in which case there is a set process set out in law that your employer needs to follow in response. Negotiating a flexible working request with an employer may be daunting, which is why many individuals seek advice and plan extensively beforehand.
In What Way Can Employees Work Flexibly?
Flexible working can relate to a huge array of alternative working arrangements, be it changing from full-time to part-time work in response to childcare needs, swapping over to additional days working from home or even job sharing as a unique organised arrangement. The flexible working arrangements available at your workplace will depend largely on your employer and their flexibility, with some offices allowing a large degree of freedom, whereas others may be reluctant to change.
Can An Employer Allow Particular Employees But Not Others?
If an employer allows one member of staff to work flexibly, this does not necessarily mean that all employees are eligible. Certain conditions will only be met by specific situations, for example, paternity leave, or periods of flexible absence due to personal conditions. One instance in which an employer is not allowed to pick and choose, is if you believe the decision-makers are discriminating against you based on a protected characteristic. Be it your race, gender or age – discrimination law is complex and you should always seek advice before you pursue a claim.
What If My Request Is Declined?
A dedicated appeals procedure exists for anyone unsure of why their request has been declined, so if your employer turns down your request, they should also give you a good explanation as to the reason. The reason should not be discriminatory in nature, and the senior stakeholder should also set out their appeals procedure in clear terms for any follow-up actions.
Swan Craig Solicitors are a locally trusted and thoroughly regulated law firm, housing qualified solicitors and experienced legal professionals well-versed in UK employment law. With the knowledge, training and expertise to advise you on issues with your employer or working environment, we are authorised and insured to give you legal guidance. With over 15 years of experience, our dedicated team are available at your convenience, so simply contact us today, on everything from disciplinaries to changes in contract.