toggle menu
Contact Us

Flexible Working – any right of appeal?

21st Nov 2016
Employee Benefits, Payroll, Recruitment

All employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service have the right to request a flexible working arrangement. If you reject such a request do they have any statutory right of appeal?

In April 2014, following legislative changes brought in by the Children and Families Act 2014, the statutory right to request a flexible working arrangement was extended. It now applies to all employees that have accrued 26 weeks’ continuous service. An employee may make numerous flexible working applications throughout the course of their employment but they are limited to a single statutory request in any rolling twelve-month period.

Having received a request you should consider it carefully and always follow the ACAS Code of Practice. Having received the request you should meet with the employee to discuss the details as soon as possible. Following this meeting, you can accept the request (perhaps with conditions), reach a compromise or reject it on one or more of the eight accepted business reasons which are set out in our Guide to Handling Flexible Working Requests* (This Guide and others are available through our Online HR Toolkit –  Read more here >>).

Where you’ve rejected a request because an employee has no right to be making it, e.g. they don’t have sufficient continuity of service or they’ve already made a request for flexible working in the previous twelve months, they’ve no right to appeal your decision. That said, you should explain why their request has been refused. Use the letters and guidance on the Online HR Toolkit to ensure you are covering all the necessary points.

Flexible Working – any right of appeal?

Where the employee has the right to make a flexible working request yet you reject it, the Code says that they should be allowed to lodge an appeal. Should an appeal be received, you should hold an appeal hearing as soon as possible after receiving the appeal notification. You should then write to the employee notifying them of your appeal decision.

Possible outcomes

There are two possible outcomes to an appeal, either the request:

(1) is accepted (perhaps with a compromise); or

(2) is rejected. If it’s the latter, your appeal outcome letter should explain the business ground(s) for your refusal.

Tip 1 – Where an application is agreed, note it will be a permanent change to the employee’s terms and conditions of employment. This is unless you’ve stipulated that the arrangement is a trial or only temporary.

Tip 2 – There are no set time periods for dealing with an appeal, but a flexible working request must be considered and decided on within three months from first receipt, unless you agree otherwise.


Choose a couple of dates and times that suit you. We'll confirm a session by email. When the time comes, one of our team will give you a guided tour on your screen via a link and talk through the features and benefits.

Book now

The Toolkit Tour

Take the MAD-HR Toolkit Tour

An affordable, comprehensive HR portal. Access all the latest documents you need as an employer.

Book Demo
Christopher Durand
Christopher Durand
14:28 23 Aug 18
We have used MAD-HR a number of times and I have been very impressed by their knowledge and expertise, which is invaluable for us a small and growing business. All the work they have done for us, and this includes not just contracts and handbooks etc, but also training to make us a better more thoughtful team, I regard as a sound business and personal investment. We intend to make this an on-going relationship to help us develop as a more
Aisleen Marley
Aisleen Marley
14:48 24 Oct 17
Carole immediately grasped my situation and quickly set about creating the perfect document to help drive my business forward. She has a wealth of experience that she was able to apply to my current and future business goals in order to come up with the goods! The process itself was extremely straightforward with a clear system for booking in a call with Carole, where she then talked me through my options. Thoroughly more
Rachael Martin
Rachael Martin
19:40 03 Jul 17
Carol offers outstanding support and advice to ensure you are meeting legal requirements. Her toolkit is a very worthwhile investment as it ensures your documentation is up to scratch and you have all that you need in place! Highly recommended - outstanding more
ClarkeCare Ltd
ClarkeCare Ltd
14:03 22 Jun 17
I recently attended a Suffolk Brokerage Registered managers meeting and the very lovely Charlotte from MAR HR was there to give a presentation. Charlotte was fantastic and delivered a great presentation. Her knowledge around all things HR where clearly evident and she answered some tricky questions really well, giving clear, helpful advice. I would highly recommend anyone thinking of gaining support for their business to speak to Charlotte. I know we at ClarkeCare will be engaging their services in the near future. Thank you Charlotte :-)read more
Hana Dickinson
Hana Dickinson
10:36 26 Jul 16
I love working with Carole and the team at MAD-HR. They are so knowledgeable and responsive. I feel really confident that my HR (and therefore my business) is in safe hands. We've had a few issues that we've needed help with and Carole has been right there, with great advice and useful resources (via the Online HR Toolkit) that have made my life so much easier and my blood-pressure so much lower. Thanks Carole and team. You rock!read more
Next Reviews

Brilliant service and advice from MAD-HR.   Thank you so much, you’ve made the process of taking on our first employee an absolute breeze! Highly recommended.