Right to request flexible working: Letter explaining the scope of the right to request flexible working (letter) Letter wording: Thank you for your letter of [ ] requesting flexible working. Unfortunately, your request did not meet all the statutory criteria. You may find it helpful to read the text below, which explains your rights and responsibilities in respect of submitting a request for flexible working. Your request must be in writing in order to be valid. OR You have indicated in a conversation/meeting with me/your manager that you would like to change your pattern of working. You may find it helpful to read the text below which explains your rights and responsibilities in respect of submitting a request for flexible working. Your request must be in writing in order to be valid. Eligibility for flexible working An employee will be eligible to submit a request for flexible working if he or she: has a minimum of 26 weeks' continuous service with the London Borough of Southwark Council’s as at the date the request is submitted; has a child under the age of six (18 if the child is disabled); has responsibility for the upbringing of the child; is making the request in order to help with the care of the child; has not made an application for flexible working in the previous 12 months; submits a properly completed request in writing. How to submit a request for flexible working The right to request flexible working includes the right for an eligible employee to ask for changes to one or more of the following: the number of hours worked, eg part-time working, term-time working; the times of work, eg the days of the week worked and start/finish times; the place of work, ie a request to do some or all of the work from home. The request must be in writing (e-mail is acceptable) and must stipulate: whether the employee has made a previous application for flexible working, and if so when the application was made; the change applied for, ie the pattern of working the employee wants; the date on which the employee would like the changes to take effect; the effects that the employee envisages the changes requested will have on the school; and how the employee thinks any such effects might be dealt with. The School is not obliged in law to deal with a request that is not in writing, or one that does not contain the required information. The School is not obliged automatically to agree to a request for flexible working, but is under a duty to consider any valid request seriously. It is the School's policy to do everything it reasonably can to accommodate employees' requests for flexible working, and to discuss each employee's request fully at a meeting arranged for that purpose. Nevertheless there may be occasions when agreeing to what an employee wants is not possible or practicable from a business perspective. In these circumstances, the School will discuss possible alternative working patterns with the employee with a view to seeking a compromise arrangement that suits both parties. Once an employee has submitted a valid application for flexible working, the School will contact him or her to arrange a meeting, which will take place within 28 days of the application, to discuss how the pattern of working requested might be made to work. The employee will be entitled, if he or she wishes, to be accompanied at the meeting by a trade union or work colleague of his or her choice. If the request for flexible working is agreed, the agreed changes will constitute a permanent variation to the terms of the employment contract, unless agreed otherwise. This means that, once a change to an employee's hours or place of work has been implemented, the employee will have no automatic right to revert to his or her previous pattern of working at any future date, nor will the school have the right to require the employee to revert to his or her previous pattern of working. This does not mean that the employee is barred from making a request for another change to his or her working pattern in the future, but rather that there will be no statutory entitlement for the employee to switch back to his or her current working pattern at a future date. It is therefore important for employees to understand that any changes agreed will be viewed as permanent. When to use this document Use this letter to inform employees who have indicated an interest in applying for flexible working, or who have made a request that does not meet all the statutory criteria, about their rights and responsibilities in respect of requests for flexible working.
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