Flexible Working Requests - The Risk of Refusing - Expert Comments

David Reid
1st Jul 2005

Today's news about Government's proposal to extend flexible working rights could change the way we work for good.

Time off work for training

As parents of young children become more aware of their right to request a flexible working pattern, we consider whether the wide bases on which an employer can legitimately refuse an application really do make this a "toothless" law.


Those of you who read my recent update on the Government's proposal to extend flexible working rights to parents of children of all ages will be aware of the potential effect this proposal might have on traditional working patterns in the workplace.


At present, providing they have 26 weeks' continuous service, parents of children under six years old have the right to request a permanent change to their working pattern, providing that the request is made for child care purposes.


The most common request will simply be to reduce the number of weekly working hours, but any type of change to the employee's working pattern can be requested. Examples of flexible working patterns include term-time working, job sharing, flexi-time, or even working from home read more.

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