From 30th June 2014 the law states that all employees with at least 26 weeks service can request a flexible working pattern. The obligation on the employer is to consider the request, not necessarily grant it. However, there are only certain grounds in law upon which a request can be refused.
The consequences of failing to deal appropriately with a request for flexible working can result in an employer being ordered to pay up to £3,712 as compensation to an employee.
An employee can make a complaint to an Employment Tribunal if the employer:-
- Fails to deal with their application in a reasonable manner.
- Fails to notify them of the decision on their application within the decision period.
- Fails to rely on one of the statutory grounds when refusing their application.
- Bases its decision on incorrect facts.
- Treats the application as withdrawn when the grounds entitling the employer to do so do not apply.
If the complaint is upheld, the tribunal must make a declaration to that effect and may make either or both of:
- An order for reconsideration of the request.
- A compensatory award to be paid by the employer to the employee, of such amount as the tribunal considers just and equitable, up to the statutory maximum.