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Flexible working refers to different patterns of working arrangements, including, for example: 

  • working part time
  • working from home
  • job-sharing
  • remote/teleworking
  • term-time working
  • compressed hours
  • flexitime
  • staggered hours
  • a predictable shift pattern
  • annualised hours

The right to request flexible working is available to employees: 

  • from day one of employment who
  • have not made 2 previous applications under the right during the previous 12 months

Only employees qualify – not agency workers. 

Under the statutory flexible working regime, any request you make will be treated as a request to make a permanent change to your contract terms. If this is not what you intend and you want the change to be temporary, you must spell out your position clearly and in writing. 

Note that the right is only to request flexible working and your employer is not obliged to agree to your request. However, they can only refuse for certain reasons and they must consult with you first before rejecting the request.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.
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