Flexible working

5. Appeals

Employees no longer have a statutory right to an appeal.

But offering an appeals process helps to demonstrate that the employer is handling requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.

How to appeal

The employee must follow the company’s procedures for appealing.

The employee or employer should follow the company’s procedures for solving a workplace dispute if a rejected application causes problems.

Going to an employment tribunal

Employees can complain to an employment tribunal if the employer:

  • didn’t handle the request in a ‘reasonable manner’
  • wrongly treated the employee’s application as withdrawn
  • dismissed or treated an employee poorly because of their flexible working request, eg refused a promotion or pay rise
  • rejected an application based on incorrect facts

Employees can’t complain to a tribunal just because their flexible working request was rejected.

An employee should complain to the tribunal within 3 months of:

  • hearing their employer’s decision
  • hearing their request was treated as withdrawn
  • the date the employer should have responded to their request (but failed to do so)

If an employer or employee is unsure of their rights, they should get legal advice.