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How I Requested Flexible Working: A Case Study

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Oct 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Flexible Working Working Request

Julie Highland, 32, was so determined that her request for flexible working would be accepted that she put in a considerable amount of time into her application.

Entitled to Apply for Flexible Working

Since April 2009, all employees with children under 16 are entitled to request flexible working and, although their employers need to be able to show that they have given the application due consideration, they have no legal right to accept it. Prior to April 2009, only parents or guardians of children under 6 or disabled children under 18 were entitled to apply. Flexible working applicants must be full-time permanent employees (not agency or freelance staff) and have worked for the company for at least 26 weeks before their application.

Julie was careful to research all the legal details of applying for flexible working, as well as trying to understand all the ‘unwritten’ rules. She explained, “As I was applying for flexible working before April 2009, I was entitled to apply because my daughter was still only two and a half. I had really enjoyed my maternity leave and thought that I was ready to go back to work full time, but I was finding full-time work increasingly hard to juggle with childcare arrangements.

When I first went back to work my mother had my daughter for two days a week, with a childminder having her the other three days. It was not only a lovely way for my mother and daughter to bond, but also saved me lots of money in childcare fees!

After I had been back at work for about a year, my mother fell ill. Although she recovered, she no longer felt capable of looking after my daughter and so I tried to arrange for the childminder to look after her all week," Julie said. "Unfortunately, the childminder was not able to have her for the other two days, so I would spend ages juggling diaries and days off with my husband, my mother-in-law and other friends. It just wasn’t a permanent solution, so I decided to look into flexible working.”

Options Available

The options for flexible working include home working, teleworking, job sharing, compressed hours (fitting the same amount of work into fewer hours), flexi-time (doing a certain amount of hours per week/day at times of your choosing) and term-time working only.

“I knew that I would be able to do my work within compressed hours, but I also knew that another colleague had her request for that denied, due to her being unable to prove her capabilities," Julie said. "I decided that I would write a very detailed presentation to highlight why I knew I could achieve this, such as detailing other projects I had worked on, clarifying the childcare I had in place, and illustrating how my home-office set up would enable me to deal with any issues outside of work hours. I took this presentation to my line manager and HR manager, and I’m pleased to say they accepted my request for flexible working on the condition that the situation is reviewed in six months. That review is planned for a few weeks time and I am hoping it will continue as it has been very positive.”

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[Add a Comment]
I am a single parent my son is 5 years old for over 5years since my son was born I have been working 3 days 9-5 my contract is 24hrs now they are telling me I have to do 4 days 11-5 are the in there rights to do this?
Hayl24 - 1-Oct-18 @ 2:24 PM
Shan- Your Question:
I have worked with this company for 4 years, I now has a two year old daughter. When I first started with this company I wasn’t pregnant so upon signing the contract to start I obviously had to work 1 day a weekend. Now that I have my little one is absolutely can not work any weekends as I have no childminder. I have been told if I can’t there’s nothing more they can do. I’m only part time, I have done Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights for the last 3 months since I told them I couldn’t do weekends. Store manager says I need to sort it out and do at least one day. I know they can reject a flexible working schedule but surely I have a right as a single mother. I’m 22 and I do it on my own. I don’t claim any benefits so if I get sacked I’m F*cked

Our Response:
Have you applied officially for flexible working? Please see the link here . This would have to be done first. If your company refuses and dismisses you as a result, you would then have to see whether you would be eligible to claim unfair dismissal, please see the link here .
WorkingRights - 11-Sep-18 @ 9:54 AM
Steve47uk - Your Question:
I have been with my employer for nine months working 8am to 5.30pmI have recently had my 14 year old son come to live with me I have the problem of collecting him from his school due to the location I was picking him up and taking him to work for the last 2 hours of the day Now my employer has told me I can't bring him to work or pick him up and that I need to sort out arrangements asap Problem is he is settled and doing well in his school and I don't want to move him and disrupt his most important years My employer won't help with anything Do I have rights as I've been told I could lose my job if I don't sort things out

Our Response:
You do have rights to apply for flexible working, please see the link here. However, you don't have the right to claim unfair dismissal (if your employer dismisses you as a result), until you have worked for your employer for two years, please see the link here .
WorkingRights - 10-Sep-18 @ 2:09 PM
I have worked with this company for 4 years, I now has a two year old daughter. When I first started with this company I wasn’t pregnant so upon signing the contract to start I obviously had to work 1 day a weekend. Now that I have my little one is absolutely can not work any weekends as I have no childminder. I have been told if I can’t there’s nothing more they can do. I’m only part time, I have done Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights for the last 3 months since I told them I couldn’t do weekends. Store manager says I need to sort it out and do at least one day. I know they can reject a flexible working schedule but surely I have a right as a single mother. I’m 22 and I do it on my own. I don’t claim any benefits so if I get sacked I’m F*cked
Shan - 10-Sep-18 @ 3:16 AM
I have been with my employer for nine months working 8am to 5.30pm I have recently had my 14 year old son come to live with me I have the problem of collecting him from his school due to the location I was picking him up and taking him to work for the last 2 hours of the day Now my employer has told me I can't bring him to work or pick him up and that I need to sort out arrangements asap Problem is he is settled and doing well in his school and I don't want to move him and disrupt his most important years My employer won't help with anything Do I have rights as I've been told I could lose my job if I don't sort things out
Steve47uk - 9-Sep-18 @ 8:26 PM
Chan - Your Question:
Hi I have recently started a new job in December 2017. I am also a full time student and finding it hard to juggle 3 kids, studying and working. I work 3 days one week and 5 the next. My kids are 2, 3 and 6 years old. I have been thinking about only working term time only and cutting my days down. I had time off due to my son being unwell already. I need some advice on how to go about working term time only please?

Our Response:
I can only point you to the gov.uk link here, as you would have to apply to your employer directly.
WorkingRights - 12-Feb-18 @ 9:38 AM
Hi I have recently started a new job in December 2017. I am also a full time student and finding it hard to juggle 3 kids, studying and working. I work 3 days one week and 5 the next. My kids are 2, 3 and 6 years old. I have been thinking about only working term time only and cutting my days down. I had time off due to my son being unwell already. I need some advice on how to go about working term time only please?
Chan - 11-Feb-18 @ 9:43 AM
Carl - Your Question:
I work 16 hrs per week as I claim benefits. My son is 3. I have worked for my company for 5 yrs I work one day in the week and the rest of the hrs are done on the weekend. I have told my boss this has become difficult as I want to spend more weekends with my son as the nurserys are closed but they refuse to let me work more hrs in the week. I wouldn't mind doing one weekend a month. What are my rights ?

Our Response:
Much depends upon the type of business you work for and the terms of your contract (which you are advised to read). All employees have the legal right to request flexible working, please see link here . However, while your employer has to deal with all requests in a ‘reasonable manner’ - it can accept or refuse your application if there is a good business reason for doing so.
WorkingRights - 25-Jul-17 @ 1:54 PM
I work 16 hrs per week as I claim benefits. My son is 3. I have worked for my company for 5 yrs i work one day in the week and the rest of the hrs are done on the weekend. I have told my boss this has become difficult as i want to spend more weekends with my son as the nurserys are closed but they refuse to let me work more hrs in the week. I wouldn't mind doing one weekend a month. What are my rights ?
Carl - 24-Jul-17 @ 9:16 PM
Im a single parent, my little boy is 4, in a supervisor of a store & on a fixed 32 hour contract as I have set days etc that I cannot do due to no childcare etc. Over the Xmas period my boy is off school so don't have that backup childcare either. I have been put in to work a day that is out of my availability but management have said I need to get it covered? Unfortunately there is no one that can cover it, how do I go about this as I have no one to have my son so have no other choice to not go into work but they don't seem to care about this? Thanks in advance
Lol - 12-Dec-16 @ 9:56 AM
Chaz1991 - Your Question:
I have been on maternity and am now a single parent I am employed for 30 hours per week no specific days named on contract I can only get childcare every other week but can get childcare in the week any day I have told employer I can work every other weekend as well as days in week and my employer is refusing what can I do as if I didn't turn up for work every weekend which I have told them I can't do then they will drag me in for disciplinaries all the time please help x

Our Response:
All employers must take on board an employees request for flexible working, and approach the request in a ‘reasonable manner’. Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include: assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application, holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee and offering an appeal process, please see the gov.uk link here. If your employer is not approaching your request in this way, I suggest you give ACAS a call who can advise further on your options if your employer refuses.
WorkingRights - 10-Jun-16 @ 10:09 AM
I have been on maternity and am now a single parent I am employed for 30 hours per week no specific days named on contract I can only get childcare every other week but can get childcare in the week any day I have told employer I can work every other weekend as well as days in week and my employer is refusing what can I do as if I didn't turn up for work every weekend which I have told them I can't do then they will drag me in for disciplinaries all the time please help x
Chaz1991 - 9-Jun-16 @ 9:41 AM
I have been workingfor my company for 7 years , since my son is born I coming back to work as part time without any problem today I have a msg from my manager she was upset because I didn't fill up a proper brief sheet , and said she'sbeen nice with me to let me work on my hours , she can't say something like that , first i'm there before her and is a chain companyso I wrote tothe head office and ask for my fexible hours and they said was fine .What should I do .?
Pa - 12-Nov-15 @ 7:05 PM
kel- Your Question:
I really do understand where those lady is coming from my daughter is six now and I find it so hard working full time and juggerling child carei have tried to explain to my boss how it is for me but just says full time job or no job what am I ment to do

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, as specified in the article, since April 2009, all employees with children under 16 are entitled to request flexible working and, although their employers need to be able to show that they have given the application due consideration, they have no legal right to accept it. Please see ACAS link here. Should you need any further clarification, you can give ACAS a call for some free professional advice.
WorkingRights - 8-Sep-15 @ 2:09 PM
i really do understand where those lady is coming from my daughter is six now and i find it so hard working full time and juggerlingchild carei have tried to explain to my boss how it is for me but just says full time job or no job what am i ment to do
kel - 7-Sep-15 @ 9:18 PM
My son's mother died last year leaving me only parent working full time nights I've Carried on working it is getting harder and harder to the point of exhausting
willy - 12-Mar-15 @ 12:23 AM
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