Flexible working - MLP Law

Flexible working

Balancing responsibilities at home and at work can be a challenge, and flexible working can offer a solution.

However, the process for requesting flexible working is often not as straight forward as it should be, and many employees fear that their career prospects may be affected if they request a working pattern which differs from the traditional ‘nine to five’.

We’re here to support you in your request for flexible working and to help you protect you from any negative consequences for asserting your right to request a change to your working arrangements.

Request a consultation with our expert Employment Law solicitors to understand
your right to make a flexible working request and receive our guidance on how to submit your request.

Request a consultation

We can guide you through the process for making your flexible working request and
help give you the best chance of your request succeeding.

Our services include:

  • Advising you of your right to request flexible working and how to submit your request;
  • Supporting you in challenging your employer’s rejection of your flexible working;
  • Representing you in grievances and Employment Tribunal claims if your employer fails to properly consider, or unreasonably rejects, your flexible working request; and
  • Advising you on and supporting you in respect of related discrimination concerns.

Our Approach

All of our highly experienced Employment Law solicitors are Legal 500 recommended leaders in their field, who provide jargon-free, commercial legal advice. We speak to you in plain English and provide specialist, practical and pro-active solutions for you.

We take the time to understand you and the challenges you face, enabling us to provide bespoke advice which is tailored to you.


“Gareth was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and practical in the advice he gave me. The issue was resolved very quickly and to my full satisfaction. I am happy to recommend the firm for any employment concerns.”



  1. What is a flexible working request and how do I submit one?

    A flexible working request is an application or request to your employer to change the terms and conditions of your employment which relate to:

    • how many hours you are required to work;
    • when you are required to work, and/or
    • where you work (as between your home and your employer’s place of business).

    From 6th April 2024, all employees have the statutory right to make a flexible working request from day one of their employment. Prior to this, the right was limited to those with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer.

  2. Does my employer have to accept my flexible working request?

    Your employer is not obliged to accept your flexible working request, though they are obliged to deal with your request in a ‘reasonable manner’. This generally requires your employer to take adopt an open-minded approach when considering your request.

    Although your employer may turn down your flexible working request, they may only do so on limited grounds, namely the following:

    • the burden of additional costs;
    • detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;
    • inability to re-organise work among existing staff;
    • inability to recruit additional staff;
    • detrimental impact on quality;
    • detrimental impact on performance;
    • insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work; or
    • planned structural changes, e.g. if your employer intends to reorganise or change its business and thinks your request will not fit with these plans.
  3. What are my options if my flexible working request has been turned down?

    If your flexible working request is rejected, you will likely be given the right to appeal against this decision. You may also be entitled to raise a grievance under your employer’s internal grievance procedure.

    From 6th April 2024, you will also be permitted to make at least one further flexible working request within the next twelve month period.

  4. Do I have other protections in relation to flexible working?

    All employees are entitled to protection from discrimination and an infringement of your right to request flexible working may, in some circumstances, amount to unlawful discrimination.

  5. What if my employer treats me badly for requesting flexible working?

    Your employer is not allowed to subject you to a detriment for asserting your right to request flexible working. This may include overlooking you for a promotion or a pay rise because you are perceived to be uncommitted due to expressing a preference for flexible working, for example.

    If your employer does treat you badly, this may entitle you to bring claims in the Employment Tribunal, including in relation to discrimination and/or constructive dismissal. However, your employer’s internal grievance procedure is likely to be the first step for raising your concerns.

Speak to us to see
how we can help

0161 926 9969

Why choose the mlplaw team?

  • Unparalleled Expertise and Experience

We are vastly experienced, Legal-500 recommended Employment Tribunal experts who live and breathe Employment Law. From executive exits and tackling issues like unfair dismissal and discrimination to diving into the complexity of holiday pay – there is no Employment Law challenge we haven’t met head on. We provide empathetic and robust legal support to employees, helping them to achieve their successful outcomes.

  • Your case, your service

You are unique, as are the challenges you face. That’s why our approach is always tailored to you. We don’t like one-size-fits-all strategies. We’re all about crafting tailored strategies that fit your specific needs. Communication is key. We’re fluent in plain language and have no time for legal jargon. We believe in complete transparency and  proactivity, providing you with a clear path and fixed fees so you’re never caught off guard.

  • We keep your options open

The road to success isn’t a one-way street, and we’re here to keep your options open. We’re masters of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and negotiation, which are the keys to sidestepping the time, money, and stress of legal claims.


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