Flexible working: the law and best practice

Flexible working policy


Introducing a flexible working policy

You should inform and consult your employees before you introduce a flexible working policy. This may help them understand how flexible working arrangements may impact your business.

When planning to implement a flexible working policy, you will need to consider the following:

  • What flexible working arrangements will suit the business?
  • What are the legal requirements?
  • How will you deal with applications, eg who will attend the meetings and how will the administration work?
  • Are there jobs that might be difficult to do under a flexible working arrangement, eg jobs that don't suit homeworking?
  • If there are, what is the nature of the obstacle, and can you perhaps overcome it?
  • How flexible are your IT arrangements, eg can employees access their email away from the workplace?

Flexible working policy templates

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has developed a model policy and procedure template for employers on handling requests for flexible working (PDF, 1.07MB) - you can download and personalise this to your business needs.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland also hosts free training courses on flexible working on a regular basis as part of its Employer Training Programme.

Find out how to set up employment policies for your business.