Flexible working: the law and best practice

Introduction

Guide

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 has led to businesses having to be more flexible with how their staff manage and deliver their work commitments. This has given employers a practical insight into the benefits and challenges of flexible working eg having staff working from home.

Employees have the right to request flexible working, and you, as the employer, have a legal duty to give it serious consideration. Throughout this guidance 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 flexible working policy templates from Acas and the Equality Commission.