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Flexible working hours

Flexible working hours

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Hi all

We agreed to a flexible working pattern  (reduced daily hours) for an employee with young children starting school. Several months on this is not working for the business and we need to review the hours. We would like the employee to resume full time working but not sure where we stand on this. A new contract was issued to reflect the part time hours.  Can anyone advise please?

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By Taradaynes
04th Apr 2011 10:31

With flexible working arrangements, it is difficult to just revert back to the original terms & conditions if the change was contractual. So any change without discussion, notice & agreement would be classed as a unilateral change imposed on the employee. That said, any flexible working arrangement should ideally be on a trial basis for 3-6 months, in case the change turns out to be detrimental to either the employee or the business. Employers are entitled to turn down flexible working arrangements - even if this is retrospectively - but only on a finite list of grounds. These are:


•              The burden of additional costs•              Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demands•              Inability to re-organise work among existing staff•              Inability to recruit additional staff•              Detrimental impact on quality or performance•              Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work•              Planned structural changes


So you need to make sure you have a sound business case built around at least one of the above. Make sure that you have fully discussed it formally with the employee, keep a note of the discussions, give consideration to their views as well & document everything. Give formal notice of any changes.

And remember, employees who have a flexible working request turned down have the right to an appeal, so this would aso be the case for having it revoked.

Finally, if you don't already have one, it is worth having a formal written Flexible Working policy that covers all these eventualities & a full procedure!

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