Thursday, December 16, 2021

"How not to handle a flexible working request"

Check out this article on how in King v Tesco our largest supermarket in the UK messed up a request by one of its employees for flexible working. It is an important but tricky subject so make sure you join a union (UNISON of course if you work in public services) and get advice from a local rep before you apply. It is an important (but imperfect) legal employment right. 

Hat tip Pure Employment Law

"Flexible working requests – the law

Before we look at some lessons to be learned around dealing with flexible working requests from a recent case, here’s a re-cap on the law:

Employees with at least 26 weeks’ service have a statutory right to make a request for flexible working. Employers should:

  • deal with a request in a reasonable manner (including meeting with the employee to discuss it);
  • notify the employee of their decision within three months (unless the parties agree an extension); and
  • only refuse a request on one of 8 grounds set out in the legislation.

Click here to see our previous article for more about flexible working requests.

If the procedure is not followed or if the employee is not happy, they can bring claims against their employer for breach of the Flexible Working Regulations, and if the claim succeeds, the Employment Tribunal can order the employer to reconsider the request, and/or compensate the employee in such amount as the Tribunal considers just and equitable – up to a maximum of 8 weeks’ pay (currently capped at £489 per week).

Check out the sad tale of King v Tesco (2017)

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