Managing flexible working requests

Managing flexible working requests

By Andy Shettle, Chief Product Officer of ER Tracker
23 January 2018

Since 30th June 2014 anyone who has worked for their employer for 26 weeks or more have the legal right to ask whether they can work flexibly. Working flexibly can take many forms, including:

  • Flexi time
  • Job sharing
  • Working from home or alternative business premises
  • Compressed hours
  • Term time only working
  • Part time working

Employers have to consider all qualifying requests fairly and usually within three months of receipt of the request and any decision made must be based upon the need of the business. The three month period also includes time for a subsequent appeal. Under the new legislation, requests to work flexibly can only be refused if there are business reasons for doing so. The business reasons for refusing are:

  • The burden of any additional costs is unacceptable to the organisation.
  • An inability to reorganise work among existing staff.
  • An inability to reorganise work among existing staff.
  • Inability to recruit additional staff.
  • The employer considers the change will have a detrimental impact on quality.
  • The employer considers the change would have a detrimental effect on the business’ ability to meet customer demand.
  • Detrimental impact on performance.
  • There is insufficient work during the periods the employee proposes to work.

How prepared is your organisation to manage a flexible working request policy and process?

Acas have published a number of guides to help employers prepare for the right to request for flexible working including how the process should work. But how will you operate your process in a fair, timely and transparent manner?

Configurable employee relations solution

Selenity ER Tracker is being used to manage flexible working requests from logging the initial receipt, through to a meeting, logging an outcome letter and a built in appeal period. What’s more, you can configure the outcomes of the request so that you can monitor the type of flexible working requests that are successful, for example, compressed hours, part time working and also build all the reasons for refusal in so that these can be monitored and reviewed to ensure fairness.

A timely process

The law requires the consideration process including any appeal to be completed within three months. To assist with meeting this timeframe, each step of the process in Selenity ER Tracker has a completion time attached to it which can be viewed on a dashboard and also via reminder emails and text messages. You can be confident that if required you can demonstrate when each step was completed and how long it took

A fair process

As part of the Acas guidelines, “an employer must be careful not to inadvertently discriminate against particular employees because of their protected characteristics”. To assist with reviewing an organisations flexible working policy Selenity ER Tracker can report by outcome reasons broken down by employee gender, religion, sexuality, disability to list just a few.

Selenity ER Tracker is an innovative online application that is configured to customer’s HR policies, which increases compliance while improving efficiencies of employee relations cases.


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