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As a parent or carer you are entitled to have time off following the birth or adoption of your child and to make a request for flexible working. This might be a change to your hours, flexi-time, home working, job-sharing, self-rostering, shift working, staggered hours, part-time working and term-time working.
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It is important to note that it is a right to apply for flexible working and for your request to be properly considered. There is no automatic right to a new working pattern.
All employees who have 26 weeks' service will be able to submit a flexible working request. Agency workers do not have the right to make a statutory request.
You are limited to one statutory application every twelve months.
There is a statutory procedure set out in the legislation. You must make the request in writing, setting out:
However, as you are limited to one statutory request for flexible working each year, it may be better to see if your request can be accommodated informally first.
Employers are required to consider requests objectively and in a "reasonable manner". They must notify you of their decision within 3 months of the request being made, unless an extension is agreed.
Problems arise when the flexibility you need as a mother, father or carer do not always correspond with what your employer requires of you as an employee. You employer can only reject your request on one or more of the following grounds.
If your request is rejected, we can help you challenge the decision.
Tribunals will award compensation of up to 15 weeks' pay if your flexible working request has not been considered properly or fairly. In the worst cases, a failure to comply with the law can lead to a loss of trust and confidence and resignation with potential claims for discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal.
If you have been unable to come to an agreement that suits you both, we will help assess your rights, and options to get the working pattern you want.
Our dismissal team can help you secure compensation if you have been a victim of mistreatment by your employers.
If you have missed out on a job, are being paid less or not being treated equally because of your gender, then laws are in place to protect you.