Our client had received a letter from a male employee asking for his hours to be varied. Our client approached us for advice about whether they could respond to accept or reject the request or whether a formal process of any kind was required.
Our client did not initially identify this as a flexible working request, as the only requests of this nature they had received previously were from female employees following maternity leave.
We reviewed the request, and advised our client that this met the definition of a flexible working request under the regulation and provided guidance on what this definition covers. We advised that flexible working requests can come from men or women, provided they have caring responsibilities for a child. In this case, the time off was required to care for the employee’s son.
We provided the client with detailed advice on the stringent process to be followed when considering a flexible working request, advising particularly on the tight timescales, considerations to be taken into account through the process and the very specific reasons which are applicable to rejecting requests.