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Flexible Working and Work-life Balance

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working, not just parents and carers. Flexible working is any working pattern adapted to suit employees’ and employers’ needs. Common types are part-time, flexi-time, annualised hours, compressed hours, staggered hours, job sharing, homeworking and combinations of these. See the Government's guidance here.

Employees who have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks are eligible to request flexible working and their employers have a duty to consider their requests seriously. The employer should accommodate the request, unless it is not possible for one of the permitted eight business grounds, which are as follows:

  • Burden of additional cost
  • Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
  • Inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • Inability to recruit additional staff
  • Detrimental impact on quality
  • Detrimental impact on performance
  • Insufficiency of work during periods the employee proposes to work
  • Planned structural changes
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