Flexible working

Your rights

All employees have a right to request flexible working after they have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks (six months), as long as they haven’t already made a flexible working request within the last 12 months.

Flexible working requests should be made in writing and should include details of the revised working pattern you are seeking, how you think this may affect your employer’s business and how you think this can be dealt with. Only one request is allowed in a year. You can download a sample letter here.

Employers must have a sound business reason for rejecting any request.

Some employers offer flexible working from day one of employment so it is worth finding this out.

Types of flexible working

There are a number of ways you can work flexibly. This visual displays a few of the options.

More information about flexible working can be found at Working Families.

The right to time off in emergencies

All employees have the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with an emergency or an unforeseen matter involving a dependant. This may be your partner, child or parent, or someone living with you as part of your family – others who rely on you for help in an emergency may also qualify. The time off is unpaid unless your employer is willing to give paid time off as a contractual right.