Flexible working countdown: 9 – Who is eligible to make a request?

Flexible working

Continuing our countdown to the new flexible working legislation on 30 June 2014, we look at the new rules and important changes to the procedure for dealing with flexible working requests. Today, with nine working days to go, we consider who is entitled to make the request.

The right to make a request for flexible working is no longer limited to parents and carers. The change in the eligibility to make a request for flexible working means that any employee can make an application to work flexibly and for any reason. The only stipulations are that he or she has worked for the employer for 26 continuous weeks, and has not made a request in the previous 12 months.

For example, an employee who is a football fanatic has submitted a request to work flexibly during the World Cup tournament. He is keen to watch every game, but has no caring responsibilities and he has worked for his employer for only two months.

The employee would not be eligible to make a request to work flexibly because he does not have the requisite 26 weeks’ continuous service, and the employer is entitled to refuse the request for this reason. However, the employer cannot refuse the request because the employee wants to watch the World Cup tournament. Any employee, regardless of his or her circumstances, can apply to work flexibly for any reason.

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