Flexibility Working - Your Guide to Flexible Working

Job Sharing

Two people do one job and split the hours.

Working from home

It might be possible to do some or all of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.

Part time

Working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).

Compressed hours

Working full-time hours but over fewer days.


The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but works certain ‘core hours’, eg 10am to 4pm every day.

Job Sharing

The employee has to work a certain number of hours over the year but they have some flexibility about when they work. There are sometimes ‘core hours’ which the employee regularly works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or when there’s extra demand at work.

Applying for flexible work

Employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. It’s known as ‘making a statutory application.’

Basic Steps Are:

  1. The employee writes to the employer.
  2. The employer considers the request and makes a decision within 3 months - or longer if agreed with the employee.
  3. If the employer agrees to the request, they must change the terms and conditions in the employee’s contract.
  4. If the employer disagrees, they must write to the employee giving the business reasons for the refusal.  The employee may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

Employees can only make one application for flexible working a year

Writing to the employer

An employee should email or write a letter to their employer.

Employers may ask employees to use a standard form to make an application.

What the email or letter must include

The application must include:

  • the date
  • a statement that this is a statutory request
  • details of how the employee wants to work flexibly and when they want to start
  • an explanation of how they think flexible working might affect the business and how this could be dealt with, eg if they’re not at work on certain days
  • a statement saying if and when they’ve made a previous application