Sample letter to request flexible working
Last updated: 28 Sep 2023
This is a Precedent “Statutory Flexible Working Request” Letter for you to personalise. All the words highlighted in BOLD are legal requirements for the request to be valid. You must include these. The remainder of the letter is optional however our view is that including this information, where relevant, will help strengthen your argument and hopefully result in the request being granted.
For the attention of [Line manager name]
[Date] STATUTORY REQUEST FOR FLEXIBLE WORK
This is a statutory request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996.
I confirm I have at least 26 weeks of service (note – there is no requirement to confirm your length of service but there’s no harm in doing so)
[I have not previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996.]
[I have previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996 on [Date]] (note –in accordance with this legislation only one flexible working request can be made in any 12 month period so if you’ve previously made a request you need to ensure you wait 12 months before making your next request.)
My current working pattern is… (note – there is no requirement to explain your current working pattern but it is sensible to do so)
I would like my new working pattern to be (note – set out here what arrangements you are looking to put in place.)
I think this new work pattern would have the following effects on the business …. (note – set out here what you think the impact on the business could be)
I think these effects could be dealt with by the following: (note – try to address
(1) the concerns that you think your employer, external clients/customers or colleagues may have here;
(2) how you think your new arrangement could work on daily basis. If you can draw on examples of other people who do a similar job to you and how they have been able to do it flexibly you may want to refer to that too but you should be aware that the fact that an employer has previously accommodated a request may be the reason why they are unable to accommodate yours. Below are some examples you may want to consider depending on the nature of your request.)
- [A job share partner… (note – consider whether it might be possible for you to agree allocation of work with another colleague so that you are the point of contact for each other when the other person is not there. This may not be appropriate in every case but might work if for instance you were to work 8am – 4pm and your colleague worked 9am – 5pm); you might want to offer to help train a job share partner and agree that a job share partner could contact you at home if required to clarify any issues.]
- [working from home… (note – this will depend on your role and if it is something you want to do. Consider if you have the necessary home environment and work equipment to enable you to work effectively from home e.g. a laptop);]
- [longer hours on a particular day…(note – you may want to offer working longer hours on one day if you are looking to work shorter hours on another); and]
(3) how your new arrangements would work in a crisis situation: (note – consider if offering to make yourself available by telephone to deal with emergencies or urgent customer/client requests might assist with addressing business concerns.)
(4) why it could be beneficial to be business too – two heads are better than one (if asking for a job share), allowing flexible work helps keep employees happy and retention rates are higher, it wouldn’t cost the business anything more)
[I am asking for this request in order to…] (note – while there is no requirement to do so, the ACAS guidance suggests that employees should state if their request is made in relation to the Equality Act. It may help an employer decide your application if they understand the reasons behind it e.g. to accommodate childcare arrangements, to help care of someone disabled.)
I would like the new working pattern to come into force on [date] [for  months] (note – if your request is agreed, the change will be a permanent change to your terms and conditions unless you make a different agreement with your employer)
[Ideally, I would like my new working pattern to be as stated above. However, I would be happy to try a combination of the following: (note – add in here any other options you may be willing to consider, it is good negotiation tactic to offer alternatives) so that my new working pattern causes as little disruption to the business as possible.]
[If you are unable to commit to a permanent contractual change, I would be happy to agree to a trial period of [ 3/ 6 ] months so that the business can properly assess if it is a viable option.] (note – your request will have better chances of success if you show some flexibility)
I would be happy to attend a meeting to discuss my request in more detail and to be given a chance to address any concerns that you may have regarding my suggested new working pattern.
I look forward to hearing from you.
For the attention of Jane Smith
23 April 2019
STATUTORY REQUEST FOR FLEXIBLE WORK
This is a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996.
I previously made a request under section 80F Employment Rights Act 1996 on 5th May 2016.
My current working pattern is Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5 pm, with one hour’s lunch per day (28h).
I would like my new working pattern to be Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm, with half an hour’s lunch each day (27.5h)
I think the effects the new pattern would have on the business would be that I would no longer be available between 3pm and 5pm to deal with client queries.
I think these effects could be dealt with by the following:
- my colleagues dealing with queries from my clients at these times. 3-5pm is not a busy time and I have spoken to colleagues who have said they are happy to deal with my clients should they call. I have spoken with Joe Bloggs who has confirmed that he is happy to be a specific contact for my clients between the hours of 3-5pm so I can include his contact details on my out of office so that clients know who to contact in my absence. Similarly, in the hours that Joe Bloggs is not working I have volunteered to pick up any urgent requests which are sent to him. This will ensure continuity of service in the business;
- in addition, I will be able to provide cover at lunchtime, which is busy, by taking a shorter lunch;
- I will be available on Fridays when the office is currently understaffed;
- further, I am happy to make myself available outside of this new working pattern to deal with emergencies.
I am asking for this request in order to care for my daughter. She starts primary school in September and this working pattern would allow me to drop her off and pick her up. I have already requested parental leave to cover the first month when she is on half days, so I would like the new working pattern to come into force on 1st October 2019.
Ideally, I would like my new working pattern to be as stated above. However, if this is not agreeable, then I would be happy for my working pattern to be 9am to 5pm on Monday and 9am to 3pm Tuesday to Friday so that this request causes as little disruption to the business as possible. If I am given reasonable notice in certain circumstances, I may be able to arrange for my daughter to be picked up from school by a family member to allow me to work an extra hour.
If you are unable to commit to a permanent contractual change, I would be happy to agree to a trial period of 3 months effective from the date of 1 October 2019 so that the business can properly assess if it is a viable option.
I would be happy to attend a meeting to discuss my request in more detail and to be given a chance to address any concerns that you may have regarding my new working pattern.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Jim Moore, Small Business Accounts
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We cannot provide advice on employment rights in Northern Ireland as the law is different. You can visit the Labour Relations Agency or call their helpline Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300.