Flexible working: the law and best practice



Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee's needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home. Flexible working can be positive for both employees and employers as staff are happier, more engaged, and often more productive as they are better able to manage their working demands around personal commitments.

The coronavirus pandemic gave employers a practical insight into the benefits and challenges of flexible working such as having staff working from home. However, today to retain and recruit staff businesses are becoming more flexible with how their staff manage and deliver their work commitments.

Eligible employees have the right to request flexible working, and you, as the employer, have a legal duty to give it serious consideration. Throughout this guide, we provide linkages to the Labour Relations Agency's templates to help you meet your legal duties on flexible working requests.

This guide details the law surrounding flexible working requests, the eligibility criteria for flexible working requests, and how to respond to a flexible working application. You can also access a flexible working policy template from the Equality Commission.