Flexible working: the law and best practice

Application for flexible working


An employee's application should set out their desired working pattern and how they think you can accommodate it.

Information that must be included in a flexible working application

In order for a flexible working application to be valid, it must:

  • be dated and in writing
  • state that it is being made under the statutory right to make a flexible working request
  • specify the flexible working pattern applied for
  • explain what effect the proposed change may have on your business and how you can deal with any such effect
  • state the date on which they want the change to start
  • be the only request made in the last 12 months

The employee should allow plenty of time between the date of the application and the date they expect the flexible working arrangement to start. This is to allow you time to look at their application and assess whether or not you can accommodate it.

See form FW (A): Flexible Working Application Form in the Labour Relations Agency's (LRA) guidance and templates on flexible working: the right to request and duty to consider.

Flexible working requests and the contract of employment

If you accept an employee's flexible working request, this will be a permanent change to their contractual terms and conditions unless you agree otherwise. See change an employee's terms of employment.

If you or the employee are concerned about this, you could either suggest that they work flexibly over a trial period or agree that the arrangement will be temporary.

Note that employees do not need to provide a reason for their application for flexible working.