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Flexible working policy

The Company recognises that the balance between work and family life is important and research has shown that individuals perform best when able to balance work with other aspects of their lives. Our positive approach to flexible working is designed to be an aid to supporting people in their chosen careers and helping them work in a way that suits their individual needs.

Furthermore, we are committed to reflecting the diversity of our customers in our workforce. We are striving to be inclusive in everything we do, across our workforce and with our supply chain partners to bring positive change in this area.

The Company’s Flexible Working Policy and Procedure is designed to provide a clear framework for managing flexible working requests, which ensures that the Company:

• manages such requests in a reasonable manner;
• complies with relevant employment legislation;
• follows best practice; and
• provides support to employees during the application process.

Flexible working policy

By law, employees must have at least 26 weeks’ service to make a flexible working request (FWR). However, we allow all employees, regardless of length of service, to make one flexible working request per year. Your request can be for a temporary (maximum of 12 months) or for a permanent change to working hours or conditions. Remember:

• Once a permanent FWR has been accepted, you will have no right to return to your working hours and conditions in place before the agreed changes.
• A temporary FWR can last for a maximum of 12 months.
• Once a FWR has been accepted or refused, you will not be able to make another FWR for a period of 12 months.

Depending on your circumstances, there are different changes that you can request, e.g. you may request a change to:

• the number of hours that you work, e.g. part time working or job sharing with another identified colleague;
• the times at which you work your hours, e.g. start and finish times or shift patterns; and/or
• the place at which you work, e.g. homeworking some of the time rather than at normal work base.

You can ask for the change to be for:

• all working days;
• specific days or shifts only;
• specific weeks only, for example during school term time; and/or
• a temporary time period, for example for 6 months only.

If you are returning from maternity, adoption or shared parental leave you will need to complete a FWR if you wish to return part-time on a temporary or permanent basis.

In line with relevant legislation and best practice, we aim to complete the Flexible Working Request (FWR) process, including any appeal, within 3 months.

The above time limits may be extended if there is sickness, leave or exceptional circumstances, provided both you and your Line Manager agree to the extension.

All flexible working requests will be considered seriously. In accordance with the law, a FWR may be refused only for one or more of the following specified business reasons, which must be substantiated with supporting evidence:

• the burden of additional costs;
• a detrimental effect on the ability to meet customer demand;
• a detrimental impact on quality;
• a detrimental impact on performance;
• an inability to reorganise work among existing employees;
• an inability to recruit additional employees to cover the work;
• insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work; and/or
• planned structural changes.

In addition, managers must avoid unlawful discrimination, e.g. the Line Manager must take into account if the FWR is one for ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made in relation to a disability

There is no legal requirement to provide a trial period. However, it may be agreed as an opportunity for both you and your Line Manager to test if the changes would work in practice. We recommend that a trial is only used if absolutely necessary and is limited to a period of up to 1 month. Where a trial is agreed, the start date, end date and review date will be agreed with you before the trial starts. A final decision will be made and confirmed to you by your Line Manager within 14 days of the end of the trial.

Related Policies

Maternity Policy


Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave