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DWP - Your Right to Request Flexible Working

DWP - Your Right to Request Flexible Working logo


Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs, for example having flexible start and finish times, or working from home.

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working. Employees can request a change to:

  • the number of hours they work
  • when they start or finish work
  • the days they work
  • where they work

This is known as ‘making a statutory application’.

Employees can make a request for flexible working from their first day in a job.

What Employers Must Do:

Employers must deal with requests in a ‘reasonable manner’.

Examples of handling requests in a reasonable manner include:

  • assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the application
  • discussing possible alternatives to the request
  • offering an appeal process

Read the ACAS Code of Practice on Flexible Working Requests.

If an employer does not handle a request in a reasonable manner, the employee can take them to an employment tribunal.

An employer can refuse an application if they have a good business reason for doing so.

Types of Flexible Working:

  • Job sharing
  • Remote working and working from home
  • Hybrid working
  • Part time
  • Compressed hours
  • Flexitime
  • Annualised hours
  • Staggered hours
  • Phased retirement

Applying for Flexible Working:

Employees can apply for flexible working from their first day in a job. This is known as ‘making a statutory application.’

The basic steps are:

  • The employee writes to the employer.
  • The employer discusses the employee’s request with them and makes a decision on it within two months - or longer if agreed with the employee.
  • If the employer agrees to the request, they must change the terms and conditions in the employee’s contract.
  • If the employer disagrees, they must tell the employee giving the business reasons for the refusal. The employee may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

The employer must discuss the employee’s request with them before refusing their application.

Employees can make 2 applications for flexible working in any 12-month period.

For more information, visit Flexible Working.

National Organisation
Age range
Suitable for ages from 16 years to 66 years
Referral route
No Referral Needed
For people with
Suitable for Everyone
Eligibility criteria
Open to Everyone
Provider category
Universal Services - Suitable for Everyone


c/o Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Caxton House, Tothill Street
United Kingdom


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Last updated 14 June 2024