Do you need or want to work flexibly? Find out your rights

Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working – not just parents and carers. This is known as ‘making a statutory application’. You must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible.

What employers must do

Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.

Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include:

  • assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
  • holding a meeting to discuss the request with the employee
  • offering an appeal process

If your employer does not handle a request in a reasonable manner, you can take them to an employment tribunal.

An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so.


This information is based on UK Government information about flexible working. Click here to find out more.

Visit Family Friendly Working for lots of ideas and inspiration on how to work flexibly.

Flexible working rules are different in Northern Ireland.

Download ‘Acas code of practice for handling requests in a reasonable manner’ (PDF, 387KB)