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Forms of flexible working arrangements
Under current UK employment law, employees who meet certain criteria have the right to request flexible working arrangements, and employers to whom such requests are made are obliged to give those requests serious consideration. These criteria have been widened by the Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations passed in April 2009, but companies retain the right to reject such requests on good business reasons.
There are several forms that flexible working may take, each of which may be more or less suitable for specific businesses. Generally, the methods can be divided into those that offer flexibility regarding an employee's location during working hours, such as home working, and those that allow variation of the working hours themselves, such as flexi-time. Requests may also be made to arrange a job sharing scheme.
If a business wants to reject an application, and has a justifiable business reason for doing so, it may wish to offer an alternative form of flexibility in an attempt to resolve the issue informally. Should informal resolution fail, an employer's case in an Employment Tribunal may well be strengthened by attempts to explore such options.
When exploring the specifics of a work-life balance policy, it is important to ensure that options suggested - by employer or employee - comply with all aspects of UK employment law, such as that regarding working hours set out in the Working Time Regulations.
Expert legal advice on flexible working arrangements
The complex field of employment law has seen a relative increase in litigation in recent years. Whatever the reason for this, it is a strong indication that wise companies should seek relevant advice to avoid, as far as possible, employment tribunal claims being brought successfully against them.
JMW Solicitors can help a firm understand and negotiate its obligations under UK law. The Employment Law department, led by partner Lindsey Bell, comprises solicitors with experience of all aspects of law relating to the workplace, and contains specialists in the legislation that relates to a firm's work-life balance policy. Attuned to the requirements of business, the team prides itself on its ability to operate on an efficient and cost-effective basis for its clients.
For further information about the ways in which JMW's employment lawyers can assist with your business' needs regarding flexible working arrangements, please contact us on 0345 872 6666 or complete our enquiry form.