16 Mar

With the threat of Coronavirus hanging over all businesses in the UK, the need for a flexible approach to working is even more important than usual.

Many employers will be offering (or even requiring) their staff to work from home, given the inherent dangers associated with a Coronavirus infection, but some employers may not take this step, leaving employees in a potentially difficult position. 

Also the Government may step in, as with several other European nations, and require employees to work from home if they can.

For those who might need to exercise their rights for flexible working during this challenging time, this is what the Government website has to offer in terms of guidance on applying for flexible working:

Employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked continuously for the same employer for the last 26 weeks. It’s known as ‘making a statutory application.’

The basic steps are:

  1. The employee writes to the employer.

  2. The employer considers the request and makes a decision within 3 months - or longer if agreed with the employee.

  3. If the employer agrees to the request, they must change the terms and conditions in the employee’s contract.

  4. If the employer disagrees, they must write to the employee giving the business reasons for the refusal. The employee may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

Employees can only make one application for flexible working a year. 

For the guidance in full see the Flexible Working information on Gov.uk

For employers faced with a flexible working request from an employee, the ACAS Code of Practice on handling in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly is a must read.

For further information on your rights if you are working from home- BBC

For information on Statutory Sick Pay.

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