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).

From 6 April 2024, employers will need to make a decision within 2 months of getting the request.

Read the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) code of practice on flexible working requests.

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 cannot be reorganised among other staff
  • people cannot be recruited to do the work
  • flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • the business will not 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