Legislation overview

The area of flexible working has undergone numerous changes over the last few years, including the extension of the right to request flexible working. In addition to the EU Directives the key domestic legislation includes:

  • Employment Rights Act 1996, especially sections 80F to 80I
  • Employment Act 2002, especially Section 47
  • Children and Families Act 2014
  • Employment Act 2002 (Commencement No.3 and Transitional and Saving Provisions) Order 2002 (SI 2002/2866)
  • The Flexible Working Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1398)

The right to request flexible working which came into force on 30 June 2014 refers to the right to formally request more flexible working arrangements.

In addition to the above, the legislation relating to maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay, and part-time working, also constitute an important part of the range of family-friendly provisions. For further examples of relevant key legislation see our Maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and pay Q&As, Parental rights and family-friendly provisions Q&As and Part-time workers Q&As.

Time off for training

A right to request time off for training came into force on 6 April 2010 for those employees in businesses with 250 or more employees. The key legislation includes:

  • Education and Skills Act 2008
  • Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009
  • The Employee Study and Training (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/156)
  • The Employee Study and Training (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/155)
  • The Employee Study and Training (Qualifying Period of Employment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/800.

Q: Do employees have the right to work flexibly?

Q: Which employees qualify to make a request for more flexible working arrangements?

Q: What sort of flexibility is covered by a request for flexible working?

Q: Is there a formal procedure to follow when making and responding to a request for flexible working arrangements?

Q: Can an employer refuse a request for flexible working if they think that the employee’s reasons are invalid and what should the employer do if they receive more than one request at the same time?

Q: If an employer refuses a request for flexible working can a further application be made at a later date?

Q: What factors can an employer take into account when considering whether to refuse a request for flexible working?

Q: If an employer refuses a request for flexible working what claims may the employee make?

Q: Which employees qualify to make a request for time off for training?

Q: Is there a formal procedure to follow when making and responding to a request for time off for training?

Q: What factors can an employer take into account when considering whether to refuse a request for time off for training and if it is refused what claims may the employee make?

Q: Are any future developments expected in the area of requesting flexible working?

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