Flexible working: the law and best practice

The right to request flexible working - the eligibility criteria

Certain employees have the statutory right to make a flexible working request. To be eligible to make a flexible working request a person must:

  • be an employee
  • have worked for you continuously for at least 26 weeks on the date they make their request
  • not have made another statutory request during the past 12 months

In addition, under the Parental Leave (EU Directive) (Flexible Working) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, which came into force on 8 March 2013, employed agency workers who are returning to work from a period of parental leave are now also extended the right to request flexible working.

The frequency of flexible working requests

Employees can make one application every 12 months. A year runs from the date the first application was made.

Before making a subsequent request, the employee must still meet the eligibility criteria as outlined above.