Managing Flexible Working Requests

Managing Flexible Working RequestsThere are many articles around at the moment which strongly suggest that employees are going to want to work more flexibly when lockdown ends. 

Flexible working can be extremely beneficial to a workforce, allowing employees to create a strong work/life balance that can assist with personal commitments such as caring responsibilities.  

All employees have the statutory right to request flexible working hours after they have completed 26 weeks of service. These types of requests can include a change to hours and days worked or to work from home. 

Managers are encouraged to accept flexible working requests wherever possible, and only decline a request where there is a sound business reason for their refusal. 
Here is a useful checklist to work through:

  • Do you want to allow all employees to be able to request flexible working (not just those with 26 weeks of service)?
  • Has the employee made another request for flexible working within the last 12 months? If so, managers are under no statutory obligation to consider this request but they can approve the new hours informally if they wish. 
  • How would these amended working arrangements assist the employee? 
  • Would it help them be more efficient at work by focusing their mind on their role during working hours? 
  • Has the employee’s personal situation caused them to miss days of work? 
  • Would this new arrangement help to prevent this? 
  • Is there enough work for the employee to do during the periods they wish to work, or could tasks be redistributed so that they do have work? 
  • Would the employee be able to finish all of their tasks with their new hours, or could any of their work be redistributed to other members of the team?  
  • Would you require the employee to attend team meetings that are outside of the hours they wish to work? 
  • Can you make arrangements for them to attend or be included within team meetings? 
  • Could the employee miss out on any training or development opportunities through the new working arrangement?  If so, are there any arrangements you could make to enable them to benefit from this, such as online training sessions? 
  • If accepted, would the business be able to continue to meet customer needs if this is accepted?  
  • If accepted, would there be any additional cost to the business – ie if the employee was to work from home, would they need to be provided with computer hardware or software or can they use personal computers? 
  • If accepted, would you need to recruit an additional member of staff to cover periods where the employee would not be present? Could this be done on a part-time basis?   
  • If the hours are not acceptable to the organisation, are there alternative suggestions from the employee?  
  • Could an alternative arrangement be reached, such as job-sharing with another employee? 

I hope this helps but contact me below if you have any questions.

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