How to apply

How an employee can apply for flexible working arrangements.

Requesting flexible working arrangements is easy. The employee's request must be in writing, such as by letter, email, or the form below can be used.

The more information given, the easier it will be for the employer to make a decision about the request.

Make sure that all sections of the request form are completed.

Start the request early

The employer must reply as soon as possible, but not later than one month from the date of the request.

The one month gives employers time to work out what granting the employee's request might mean for their business.

It also means that the employee needs to plan in advance before requesting a change. They need to make sure they:

  • apply well in advance
  • put in their request as soon as it’s complete
  • keep a copy of the request and note when they sent it to their employer.

What to put in the request

The clearer the request the better. It’s up to the employee to explain the working arrangement they want and how it can be made to work for both employee and employer.

The more the employee can explain about what they want and how they believe it might affect their employer and other staff, the easier it will be for the employer to consider the request.

So when the employee explains the changes that they're asking for, they also need to explain any changes that the employer might need to make if they agree to the request. It’s a good idea to suggest how the changes they're asking for could be good for the business.

The employer will make the decision on whether or not to grant the request based on business grounds rather than personal circumstances.

If the employee only wants to change for a set period then they’ll need to make sure that they say this in their request. Changing work arrangements permanently is a big step. If the employee wants to change back then they will have to request another change in working arrangements. It can be a good idea to have a flexible working arrangements trial to iron out any problems before going to a permanent arrangement. 

We’ve prepared a handy checklist that covers what the employee needs to include in their request. 

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