Employers need to be aware and start putting procedures into place for the new Flexible Work legislation, which becomes law in April 2003. Employers will have to follow a new statutory procedure for dealing with requests for flexible working from parents of children under the age of 6 or disabled children under 18. The new procedure is,

  • An employee can make one request a year. If accepted by the employer, it will mean a
    permanent change to the contract of employment.
  • Employers must arrange a meeting to discuss the request with the within 28 days. At the meeting, the employee may be accompanies by a companion.
  • Employer must write to the employee within 14 days of the meeting to either agree to the new work pattern together with a start date, or decline the request. If declined, then the employer must provide
    clear business grounds for doing so. The employee has 14 days to appeal their employer�s decision. (internal appeal)

Dissatisfied employees can take their case to an Employment Tribunal, where the employer will have to demonstrate they have followed the procedure correctly.

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