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kerstie's LAW.

Byline: Kerstie Skeaping

Q An employee has made a flexible work request to start work earlier and to leave work earlier but he has not got any dependent children. Do we have any obligation to consider changing his hours of work? A The right to request flexible work arrangements extends not only to employees who have the responsibility of providing care for children up to and including the age of 16 but also to employees who are responsible for caring for adult relatives or another person living with them.

The request for a change in the time of work will be within the scope of a flexible work request. Generally requests can be made for reducing hours of work, changing the times of work or changing the location of work, though the latter one only really applies if the employee can carry out their duties from home.

It is not clear whether the employee has complied with the requirement to submit the request in writing. However until he does so, specifying the proposed work pattern, his entitlement to make the application and how the business could cope with the expected impact, it will in legal terms not be considered a formal flexible work request.

There is no obligation to grant the request even if it is formally made. It is a right to request rather than a right to have flexible working. However you should give careful consideration to his request. You can refuse the request on a number of specified business grounds, including additional costs and impact on ability to meet customer demand.

Kerstie Skeaping, Halliwells LLP Solicitors, 100 Old Hall Street, Liverpool L3 9TD. Ring 0870 365 9842, fax 0870 365 8004 or e-mail
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2009
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