Flexible working: the law and best practice

Employee's appeal against a refusal of their flexible working request

If an employee believes that you have not properly considered their request they may want to appeal.

The employee's notice of appeal

The employee must make their appeal in writing within 14 days of receiving your written notice refusing their 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.

Arranging an appeal meeting

You must arrange the appeal meeting within 14 days of receiving the employee's appeal notice.

This appeal should ideally be heard by a different higher level manager.

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

Notifying an employee of your decision following the appeal meeting

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

If you change your mind and choose to accept their 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 still refuse the 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 procedure.