Parental Rights Advice and Support

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.

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.

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Who can make a flexible working request?

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.

How should I make the request?

There is a statutory procedure set out in the legislation. You must make the request in writing, setting out:

  • What changes you require to your working conditions, and when you would like the change to come into effect.
  • What effect you think the change would have on your employer and how, in your opinion, any such effect might be dealt with.
  • That this is a statutory request and whether you have made a previous application for flexible working, and if so, the date of that application.

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.

How should my employer deal with my request?

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.

  • the burden of additional costs
  • a detrimental effect on an ability to meet customer demand
  • an inability to re-organise work among existing staff
  • an inability to recruit additional staff
  • a detrimental impact on quality
  • a detrimental impact on performance
  • insufficient work during the period you want to work
  • planned structural changes

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.

Funding options for Parental Support advice

There are a number of different funding types in place which can be used to pay for the advice we provide for parental rights. Our legal advisors are on hand to help with any queries regarding the various funding arrangements that are available.

How can we help?

Funding options for our advice

There are a number of different funding types in place which can be used to pay for the advice we provide for parental rights. Please click the button below to find out more information about the funding types available.

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