Work From Home: Make a flexible working request

Caragh Bailey
29/09/2020
166
5 min read
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Working from home is a type of 'flexible working'.

Employment law states that you have a right to requesting flexible working if:
  • You’re legally classed as an employee (find out here)
  • You are at least 26 weeks into your current job
  • You haven’t made any other flexible working requests in the last 12 months

Other flexible working arrangements that fall under flexible working are:
  • Reducing your hours
  • Starting and finishing earlier or later
  • Flexi-time (flexible hours)
  • Job share

The changes don’t have to be all of the time. They could be specific to certain days or weeks, or only during term time. You could request flexible working for a limited period that ends at a certain time.

How can I work from home?

Send your employer a letter titled Flexible Working Request.
Include:
  • When you want to work from home (i.e. all the time, on certain days).
  • When you want to start working from home.
  • When you want to start coming in to work again, (if applicable).
  • Any affects that working from home might have on the business and how you will resolve them.
  • Any benefits that working from home might have on the business, (i.e. save office costs).
  • Any benefits that working from home might have on your co-workers, (i.e. more space/resources available for them at work).
  • Any way that your request is supported by The Equality Act 2010, (i.e. This is a 'reasonable adjustment' for your workplace to make to accommodate your illness or disability).
  • The date of any previous flexible working requests you have made.

Your employer should hold a meeting to discuss your request to work remotely with you. This is your opportunity to explain why you want or need to work from home and how it will fit into the business.

Your employer decides whether you can bring someone with you to the meeting, such as a co-worker or a trade union representative.

Your employer must look into your request to work remotely fairly, and give you an answer within 3 months.

If they do not give you an answer within 3 months, raise a grievance.

If they approve your request to work from home they should tell you in writing, explaining the approved change, when it will start (and end, if applicable) and if or when they plan to review the change. This changes the terms of your employment contract.

Always ask for their decision in writing, to save yourself from disputes in the future. By UK employment law they are not required to put their decision in writing unless it affects anything that legally must be covered by your contract of employment, such as changes to:
  • Your hours
  • Your pay
  • Your place of work
  • Your holiday entitlement

Your employer can refuse your request if it would negatively impact the business. For example:
  • Facilitating you to work from home would cost them too much
  • Your performance would drop due to working remotely
  • The quality of your work would drop due to working remotely
  • Your request to work from home does not fit into planned changes to the business

Flexible working request denied? How to appeal

    1
    Discuss the decision informally with your boss. Explain:
    • Why you think the decision was unfair
    • Any new information which might change their mind
    • Any evidence that they did not follow correct procedure
    2
    If you still think their decision was unfair, and you have not been able to reach a compromise, it’s best to appeal the decision as soon as possible. Write a letter or email to explain why they should look at your request to work from home for a second time and what you would like to happen next.
    3
    Your employer does not have to consider your appeal, if they decide to, they should respond as soon as a decision has been reached. They must answer your request to work from home AND appeal within 3 months of your request. They may ask you for more time, but you can say no. If they do not answer your appeal on time, raise a grievance.
    4
    If your employer has dismissed you because of your Flexible Working Request, you have a strong case for unfair dismissal. If they have not dismissed you, but are treating you unfairly because you asked to work from home, raise a grievance. or go to the employment tribunal.

Frequently Asked Questions
If you have to work from home, due to Covid-19 or otherwise, you may be able to claim tax-relief on the bills you have to pay to carry out your work from home. If you work from home out of choice, you cannot.
You can claim for things to do with your work
You cannot claim for things you also use privately
  • Business calls
  • Gas or Electric bills for your home office or work area
  • Rent
  • Broadband
Your employer can pay you up to £6 per week in tax relief


Having trouble with your request to work from home?

Not all employers are willing to allow employees to work from home, despite increasing evidence that it can be beneficial to them as well as to you. You can get in contact with us and see whether we can help you .

Employment Law Specialist | Competitive Quotes | Straight Talking Legal Support


This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
 
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