Creating a fairer Britain
By ‘flexible working’, this guide means any change from the usual working week of 35 or more hours worked between set times and at a set place. In practice, this might mean a worker:
For more information on how flexible working can benefit you and your employer, see the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Working Better report. Contact details for the Equality and Human Rights Commission are at the beginning of this guide.
This guide only tells you about equality law. There are other laws giving many employees with caring responsibilities for children or particular adults the right to have a request for flexible working considered according to set procedures (this is the ‘right to request’).
If you have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks and qualify for the right to request flexible working, your employer can refuse only on one of the business-related grounds set out in the statutory rules. If your employer does not follow the set procedures, they risk being taken to an Employment Tribunal and possibly having to pay compensation.
You will find more information on the right to request at Directgov. Although the information by Directgov is generally provided for people who live in England and Wales, the law on this is the same in Scotland.
Contact details for Directgov are found within the Further sources of information.
Your employer must avoid unlawful discrimination when they make decisions about what hours you should work and whether to allow you to work flexibly.
Look at Avoiding direct and indirect discrimination to make sure you know what equality law says your employer must do to avoid unlawful discrimination.
This section of the guide covers the following: