The right to request flexible working for parents and carers of disabled children are the same as parents of non-disabled children. An employee with 26 weeks of service with the same employer has the right to make a request to work flexibly. The employer has three months to respond (although this can be extended by agreement). If the employer turns down the request, it must be for one of the permitted business reasons. See here for more information.
However, it is worth mentioning in your request the reason why you request flexible working if it relates to your disabled child. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. This includes direct discrimination by association, such as treating a parent or carer less favourably – for instance refusing their flexible working request – because they have a disabled child (EBR Attridge LLP and another v Coleman (No 2) UKEAT/0071/09).
We are interested in hearing from any father of a disabled child who has been refused flexible working and needed it for childcare reasons. We’d like to explore if the law could be extended to improve fathers’ rights.
If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.