Legislation now states that “employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks.” Furthermore, it is best practice to ensure that all employees are aware of the policy.

There are a number of benefits of flexible working to both organisations and individuals including:

Higher levels of job satisfaction and employee well-being and lower levels.

Tips for organisations considering flexible working:

  • Be aware that legislation now states that "employees can apply for flexible working if they've worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks."
  • Ensure that all employees are also aware of this legislation.
  • Consider the full range of options encompassed by "flexible working", including:
  • Job sharing: Two people do one job and split the hours.
  • Working from home: Doing some or all of the work from home or anywhere else other than the normal place of work.
  • Part-time: Working less than full-time hours (usually by working fewer days).
  • Compressed hours: Working full-time hours but over fewer days.
  • Flexi-time: The employee chooses when to start and end work (within agreed limits) but works certain core hours, for example 10am to 4pm every day.
  • Annualised hours: The employee has to work a certain number of hours over the year but has some flexibility about when they work. There are sometimes core hours, which the employee regularly works each week, and they work the rest of their hours flexibly or when there is extra demand at work.
  • Staggered hours: The employee has different start, finish and break times from other workers.
  • Phased retirement: There is no longer a default retirement age, so older workers can choose when they want to retire. This means they can reduce their hours and work part time.
  • Term-time working: A worker remains on a permanent contract but can take paid/ unpaid leave during school holidays.
  • Career breaks/sabbaticals: Extended periods of leave – normally unpaid – of up to five years or more.
  • Providing a flexible approach to work utilising some or all of the approaches outlined above. It will not be possible to offer all options to all employees, but ensure that the rationale for not offering certain options is clear and not just based on the fact that it hasn`t been tried before.