Flexible Working

Since April 2009 parents of children under 17 have been able to request flexible work patterns and in some cases those caring for adult relatives may do the same. Employees are entitled to make such requests for flexible working and employers have a duty to consider the application seriously and in accordance with a set timetable. Failure to do so may result in the employer being taken to an Employment Tribunal, ordered to consider the request seriously and liable to pay compensation.


  • continuously employed for a period of 26 weeks
  • mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent of the child (or such person’s spouse/partner) responsibility for child’s upbringing
  • special rules apply for parents with disabled children or carers of adult relatives

Flexible Working
An employee can request:

  • a change to the hours they work.
  • a change to the times they are required to work.
  • to work from home.
  • once agreed, changes are permanent.


  • only one application per year.
  • application must be in writing.
  • employer has 28 days from date of application to hold a meeting with the employee.
  • employer must notify employee of decision in writing within 14 days.
  • an employee may be accompanied to a meeting by a work colleague.
  • there should be an appeals procedure.

An employee may present a complaint at an employment tribunal on the following grounds:

  • that a decision to reject the application was based on incorrect facts (maximum award: £3,600).
  • that the employer failed to deal with the application in accordance with the relevant provisions (maximum award: £3,600).
  • that the employer refused the application on grounds other than those specified in ERA 1996 s80G(1)(b) (maximum award: £3,600).
  • that the employer refused/threatened to refuse to allow the employee to be accompanied (maximum award: £900).
  • be aware of the risk of claims of indirect sex discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal or subjection to a detriment.

Always take legal advice!

These comments are provided for guidance only. Each situation has to be examined on its own merits and circumstances and you should not, therefore, rely upon the above without taking specific legal advice in relation to any particular matter.

Specialist advice can be obtained from 
Alan Matthew in our Dundee Office (tel: 01382 200 000) or
from Emma Allan in our Perth Office (tel: 01738 637 311)

February 2013

If you would like to speak to us about any services or have and questions please contact us by filling out the form. 

ExpertAdvice N.png


Perth Office

Legal Office: 01738 637311
Estate Agency Office: 01738 630222

Dundee Office

Legal Office: 01382 200000
Estate Agency Office: 01382 200301

Crieff Office

Legal Office: 01764 655151
Estate Agency Office: 01764 670077