Checklist for the effective handling of requests for flexible working
Posted on 30th September 2021 at 11:41
My post on the 7th of September talked about the increased demand for flexible working so I thought some handy tips would be helpful. Please get in touch if you need support with handling a flexible working request.
Do be clear about employees' rights and your responsibilities as a line manager in respect of requests for flexible working.
Do check that any employee who has submitted a request for flexible working has at least 26 weeks' continuous service.
Do arrange to meet with the employee to discuss their request as soon as possible.
Do encourage the employee to put forward their ideas about how the working pattern sought could be made to work, recognising that they may have some sound ideas about how the job might be done differently, but equally effectively.
Do establish whether or not an employee is open to discussing more than one alternative pattern of working.
Don't forget that if you are in any doubt as to the viability of the requested change, it may be worth seeking agreement to a reasonable, and properly documented, trial periods
Don't refuse a request unless there is a proper business reason to refuse it.
Don't forget to record the agreed changes to the employee's contractual terms in writing.
Don't forget that promoting the right to request flexible working to employees may encourage work-life balance and improve motivation.
Don't overlook the fact that adopting an open-minded and positive attitude towards requests for flexible working can benefit both employees and the business.
Don't overlook the fact that refusing a flexible working request without objective justification may lead an employee to bring a claim for indirect sex discrimination in the employment tribunal.
Employees will be entitled to request flexible working from the first day of their job under government proposals revealed on 23 September 2021, while carers will receive the right to a week's unpaid leave.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how to deal with a request.
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