HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

It’s been another busy week at The HR Booth, where we have been solving customer problems and helping with HR related enquiries.

Here’s another question we’ve been asked to respond to this week.

Question

We have a new employee who has been with us for 3 months. He has put a request in for flexible working to help him with child care. Do I have to accommodate this?

Answer 

Any employee with 26 weeks continuous service can make a flexible working request. This does not mean you need to accommodate the request but you are obliged to meet with the employee to discuss.

Here are some reasons why you can reject a flexible working request:

  • extra costs that will damage the business
  • the work can’t be reorganised among other staff
  • people can’t be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business won’t be able to meet customer demand
  • there’s a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • the business is planning changes to the workforce

If you are rejecting the request then please ensure that the employee has the right to appeal the decision.

Although your employee does not have 26 weeks continuous service it is good practice to meet with him as you have invested time and money on recruiting and training this employee recently, therefore if you can accommodate the request it makes good business sense to do so as this helps to retain this employee in your business.

YOUR TURN

Have you had to deal with a similar situation?

Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments section below.