Flexible working is an alternative to traditional-working hours, agreed by the employer and employee. This can include working from home or different start and finish times. This gives a better work-life balance whether it is part-time working, job sharing, early finishes, late starts, working from home or away, logging on at cafés, hot desking or even picking your own hours.

Flexible working has become much more prevalent in 2020 due to more people being actively encouraged to work from home where possible due to the pandemic.


To be able to make a flexible working request, as an employee you must:

  • Have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks
  • Be legally classed as an employee
  • not made any other flexible working request in the last 12 months

If you have the right to request, your employer must:

  • look at your request fairly, following the ACAS Code of Practice on flexible working requests
  • make a decision within a maximum of 3 months


Flexible working styles can include:

Part-time working – employees are contracted to work less than standard, basic, full-time hours (usually 37.5 hours is considered full-time)

Working from home – employees work from home remotely or somewhere else away from their office.

Job sharing – a full-time job can be split between two employees who agree the hours between them.

Compressed hours – employees cover their standard working hours in fewer working days. (e.g. 10 hours over 4 days instead of 8 hours over 5 days)

Flexi-time – employees have the freedom to work in any way they choose outside a set of core hours determined by the employer.


What are the benefits?

This style of working allows employees to fit work around family and personal commitments.

It also gives employees greater control over their own working schedule and can help reduce commute times, and improve motivation and employee retention and turnover.