Certain employees are entitled to make a request for flexible working arrangements.  This is a right of anyone who has been employed for at least 12 months and falls into one of the following categories (amongst a few others):

  1. Is a parent of school-aged (or younger) children;
  2. is a carer;
  3. is 55 or older;
  4. has a disability.

Common requests for flexibility include:

  1. a change in starting or finishing times (for example, to better accommodate school hours);
  2. requests to work from home on certain days;
  3. requests for job sharing or split shifts;

An employer can only refuse a request for flexible working arrangements if it is on the basis of ‘reasonable business grounds’.  There is no definitive test for what will constitute ‘reasonable business grounds’, but it seems likely that if such a request was going to be significantly costly or impractical, this would be a sufficient basis for refusal.

If you have requested flexible working arrangements and met refusal, or if as an employer you wish to know whether your refusal will meet the ‘reasonable business grounds’ threshold, then we can help.