If you are spending the lockdown sitting around eating and drinking, then the idea of being flexible, or even possibly moving out of your chair may not sound very appealing.  However, I’m not talking about how good your Downward Dog (or cat!) yoga pose can be, I’m talking about flexible working.

Whether you are an employer or an employee, you should know about the right for staff to ask for flexible hours.  I’m sure some people out there will be thinking, “isn’t that just for women who have just had babies?” but actually everyone has the right to apply.  A company must consider the application, and can refuse it on one of the eight statutory grounds.  If so, an employees only recourse is to claim discrimination.  So, if you are an employer you have the right to say no, so long as you can justify your decision, and if you can justify it, a claim for discrimination is likely to fail.

If this is something that might apply to you, here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Ensure that any reasons for refusing the request fall within at least one of the specified reasons;
  2. Keep an open mind and challenge any policy that particular roles can only ever be done on a full­time basis;
  3. If there are genuine business reasons why flexible working is not feasible, make sure these are properly evidenced and documented and not just based on the personal preference of managers;
  4. “We already have too many people who work part­ time/from home etc.”  wont work; and
  5. Can there be a compromise such as having a trial period or half way house?

If this is something you need to know more about, contact me at Stephanie@kleymansolicitors.com.  We’ll stretch out somewhere over zoom and come up with a flexible plan.

Kleyman & Co Solicitors.  The full service law firm.  De-bendable!