‘Right to request flexible working’ – Citizen’s Information

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is an arrangement where your normal working hours or pattern is adjusted, including through remote working, flexible schedules or reduced hours.

Who has the right to request flexible working?

Since 7 March 2024, you have the right to request a flexible working arrangement if you are either:

A parent or acting as a parent (‘in loco parentis’) of a child under 12, or under 16 if they have a disability or long-term illness
A carer providing personal care or support to a specified person living in the same household, needing significant care for a serious medical condition

A specified person is your child (including an adopted child); spouse or civil partner; cohabitant; parent or godparent; brother or sister; or housemate.

How long do I need to be working for my employer before I can request flexible working?

You have the right to request flexible working from your first day in a new job, but you must have 6 months of continuous employment with your employer before the arrangement can start. If you left your job and came back to the same employer within 26 weeks, this gap does not count towards the 6-month requirement.

How do I request flexible working?

You must provide a written request or use an online application form at least 8 weeks before the proposed start date of the arrangement. The Workplace Relations Commission has a template application in Section 3 of the WRC code of practice (pdf). Your employer can ask for any extra information they need to consider your request, such as a child’s birth certificate, or details for the person needing care and a signed medical certificate.

Your employer must give you their decision within 4 weeks of getting your flexible working request. They can ask for more time to decide your request and they must tell you how much longer they need, but this cannot be more than 8 weeks. Your employer should consider your request based on their own business needs; your needs and the reason for the request; and the WRC code of practice.

My request was refused, is there anything I can do?

If your request is refused, your employer must tell you in writing and give you the reasons why. If you think your request has not been properly considered, you should try resolving this directly with your employer first.

If you think they breached the WRC code of conduct, you can make a formal complaint to the WRC.

Read more about the right to request flexible working on, or call us on 0818 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

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