4. After the application

Employers must consider flexible working requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.

They should usually make a decision within 3 months of the request (or longer if agreed with the employee).

Agreeing the application

The employer should write to the employee with:

  • a statement of the agreed changes
  • a start date for flexible working

They should also change the employee’s contract to include the new terms and conditions.

This should be done as soon as possible but no later than 28 days after the request was approved.

Rejecting an application

The employer must tell the employee that they’ve rejected the application.

Reasons for rejecting

Employers can reject an application for any of the following reasons:

  • extra costs that will damage the business
  • the work can’t be reorganised among other staff
  • people can’t be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business won’t be able to meet customer demand
  • there’s a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • the business is planning changes to the workforce