How to appeal a rejection for flexible work

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If you’ve made a statutory request for flexible work there are strict grounds on which your employer can turn you down. Find out what reasons your employer can give you for rejecting your application, and how you can appeal.

The reasons for refusing flexible work applications

Your employer can only reject you application for flexible work for one of the following reasons:

  • It would incur extra costs which would affect their business.
  • It would prevent the business from meeting customer demand.
  • Your work can’t be redistributed to other staff.
  • They couldn’t hire people to do your work.
  • It would affect the quality and performance of your work.
  • There’s not enough work to do in your proposed hours.
  • They’re planning changes to the workforce.

Your employer must put these reasons down in writing, and meet with you to discuss them.

Appealing against a rejection for flexible work

If your employer rejects your request for flexible work you can appeal the decision in writing if:

  • They didn’t know something important about your application when making their decision.
  • You want to challenge information they have given.

What happens next?

Within 14 days of receiving your appeal your employer must meet with you on a mutually agreeable date. (You can bring a colleague or union representative to the meeting if you wish.)

Your employer must write to you within 14 days of the meeting giving their decision.

Taking your application for flexible work to an employment tribunal

If you are still not happy with the outcome of your application for flexible work, you can make a complaint to an employment tribunal. You can do this if:

  • Your employer didn’t follow the right process when dealing with your request.
  • Your employer refused your appeal but you still believe your grounds for appeal are valid.
  • You have been dismissed or treated unfairly as a result of your request.

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