Flexible working

Date last updated: 19 October 2017

Applying for flexible working

Changing or reducing your working hours so that they fit better with your other commitments or lifestyle is called flexible working.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working can include reducing your hours, changing the times you start and finish work, job sharing and working from home.

Can I apply for flexible working?

To ask for flexible working, you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks in a row. Some organisations allow applications earlier than this – so check with your employer.

How do I apply?

Visit the Working Families website for lots of guidance about how to request flexible working.

When do I get a decision?

It can take up to 3 months to get a decision from your employer – so apply in plenty of time.

How will my finances be affected?

If you’re changing your hours, you can find out how your money might be affected with our online tool, changing your hours, job, or pay.

Single dad Gary asked his employer for flexible hours so that he could pick his children up from school and spend more time with them in the evening.

Just because you are a lone parent, you are not isolated, you are not alone and you are not the only person in that situation. You could … find that your manager is in the same situation as you. Ask. Just go for it. I've got all this now because I asked for flexible working.

Working Families

Working Families have an in-depth guide to requesting flexible working, including tips on negotiation and how to choose the right working pattern for you.

Read the guide

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