Remote requests

Tina Chander, Companion and Mind of the Employment group at lawyer Wright Hassall with suggestions about how to approach an anticipated surge in flexible functioning requests

Following a protracted amount of widespread remote operating, there is nevertheless an expectation that lots of of those time for the workplace will undoubtedly be seeking to continue a lifestyle of flexible focusing on a long-term schedule. Employers should expect a whole large amount of formal requests within the months ahead.

No commute, lower costs and an improved work/life balance are a number of the key explanations why employees prefer versatile functioning, and whilst it will be nice to boost group morale by accepting every demand that comes through, it isn’t feasible for organisations to take action unfortunately. However, companies should take time to consider each request alone merits to see in case a compromise could be reached.

The initial consideration for an company is if the employee is permitted make a formal versatile working request. To produce a ask for, an employee will need to have at least 26 days of continuous work and cannot have produced a similar request in the last 12 months.


First of all, it is very important note that any obtain flexible working should be manufactured in writing so there exists a written record of the, email being because acceptable as the written letter just. Whilst many workers may turn to discuss the problem more making use of their Line Manager in the beginning informally, which is needless to say understandable and acceptable completely, they must be reminded of the necessity to place their demand on paper too.

The versatile working ask for should, for clarity, declare that it is a versatile working demand and that the eligibility will be fulfilled by the employee criteria, explain the reason why for the ask for and offer any other information with regards to the desired working design that the employee believes will be relevant and useful in aiding the company making their choice; the more info given, the easier the procedure will be in determining the practicality of the request.

As observed, an employee can only just make one formal versatile working request in virtually any 12-month period, therefore employers should verify their records to make sure no such demand has been made in this timeframe.

Versatile working requests could be broad ranging, but will most likely cite a number of of the following because the reason for the ask for:

  • Alter their work location, electronic.g. home based for some or all their contracted hours;
  • A decrease or variation of the times the employee works, electronic.g. compress their contracted weekly operating hours into fewer times; or
  • A decrease or variation of functioning hours, e.g. possibly reducing an ongoing full-time function to a part-period one or flexible begin and finish periods for their working time.

Having obtained a request, a remedy must be shipped by the company within three months, allowing period for the given individual to publish an appeal if your choice goes against them. This right time could be extended by mutual contract, when considerations tend to be more complicated. There could be occasions where in fact the request could be approved and with no need for more discussion easily. However, that is highly influenced by the demand made and the most common course of practice may very well be to arrange a gathering with the employee to go over their request additional.

Factors TO REFUSE A Demand

There will inevitably be situations where companies cannot accommodate a versatile working request; an result which may are more necessary if many requests are increasingly being received. However, companies must remember that they are able to only refuse a versatile working request for a number of of the reasons comprehensive in the legislation:

  • Additional expenses connected with change will influence the business;
  • The modifications can make it more challenging to meet up expected customer need;
  • The shortcoming to redistribute function among colleagues;
  • The inability to employ new employees to fill gaps still left;
  • Service high quality will be negatively influenced by changes;
  • Efficiency of the business will undoubtedly be decreased by any modify;
  • Lower requirement at the days the employee really wants to work; and
  • The company is already planning adjustments to the workforce.

Once again, this decision ought to be communicated in creating, with an explanation regarding the cause(s) for refusal of the ask for and the choice for the employee to charm the decision.

When assessing requests for versatile working, employers must keep an eye on whether the workers are protected beneath the Equality Act 2010 (i) before making a decision whether to simply accept or refuse their requests. Refusing a demand from employees afforded this kind of protection you could end up promises of discrimination, which may be very costly for companies.


Motivated by maintained productivity ranges throughout lockdown, a whole lot of organisations possess warmed to the thought of flexible working. However, it really is still extremely unlikely that companies are able to accept each and every formal flexible working ask for, especially if a lot of the workforce are asking for comparable outcomes.

In addition, however in some continuing businesses, physical workplace existence is required to ensure functions continue as expected, particularly for senior workers who are in charge of owning a united team of individuals. Therefore, each request is highly recommended alone merits – there could be scope for a few compromise, however the interests of all of those other workforce should be considered before requests are recognized.

Remember, some flexible working requests will be from full-time employees that are looking to alter to part-time working hrs, so it’s best practice to comprehend why the request has been made by a person, as it might deliver benefits for the organisation also.