Guide

Flexible working: the law and best practice

Flexible working refusal: employee's appeal

If an employee believes that you have not properly considered their flexible working request they may want to appeal your decision to reject it.

Flexible working: employee's notice of appeal

The employee must make their appeal in writing within 14 days of receiving your written notice refusing their flexible working request - read more on reaching a decision on a flexible working request.

In the appeal notice, the employee must set out the grounds for making the appeal and ensure that the appeal is dated.

For example, an employee might appeal because they want to:

  • challenge a fact you gave to explain why the business reason applies
  • bring your attention to something you weren't aware of when you rejected the application, eg that another member of staff is now willing to cover the hours the employee no longer wishes to work

There are no restrictions on the grounds for appeal.

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

Arranging an appeal meeting

You must arrange the appeal meeting within 14 days of receiving the employee's appeal notice with reagrds to their flexible working application.

This appeal should ideally be heard by a different manager, usually at a higher level, than the manager who made the initial decision to reject the flexible working request.

The principles on the right to be accompanied, payment for attending the meeting and what happens if the employee fails to attend are the same as for the initial meeting - see considering flexible working requests.

Notifying an employee of your decision following the appeal meeting

You must inform the employee of the outcome of the flexible working request appeal in writing within 14 days after the date of the appeal meeting.

If you change your mind and choose to accept their flexible working request, this notification must:

  • be dated
  • include a description of the new working pattern
  • state the date from which the new working pattern is to take effect

If you choose to uphold the decision to refuse the flexible working request, this notification must:

  • be dated
  • state the grounds for the decision - these must be in direct response to the employee's grounds for making the appeal
  • explain why the grounds for refusal apply in the circumstances - your explanation should provide the kind of detail required in your explanation following the initial meeting.

This notice amounts to your final decision and ends the formal right to request flexible working procedure.

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