Monday, 24 March 2014


From 30th June 2014 all Employees will be able to ask their Employer for a change in their working hours, as long as that they have 26 weeks or more continuous employment.

Currently only staff who are Carers for immediate members of their family are able to make such requests. From July, Employees who want to reduce or change their hours to accommodate other aspects of their lives will be able to make the same request.

It is envisaged that the most common requests are likely to come from:
  1. Older workers who may wish to reduce their work.
  2. Workers with disabilities who want to keep working but accommodate health problems.
Employers are not obliged to accept the request, but must give it serious consideration, fully investigated it and inform the Employee of the outcome within three months of the request being made.

This would include inviting the Employee to a meeting to discuss their request, writing to them to inform them of the outcome, and giving them an opportunity to appeal if they wish to do so.

If the Employer wishes to turn the request down, they can do so, but the decision must be based on one or more of the following:
  1. Unacceptable costs to the business.
  2. Inability to share the Employees work among other staff.
  3. Inability to recruit other staff to fill the hours the Employee doesn’t want to work.
  4. Detrimental effects upon the quality of the Employers work.
  5. Detrimental effects upon customer service.
  6. Detrimental effects upon performance.
  7. Insufficient work for the employee to do during the hours they want to work.
The Employer should also consider potential discrimination if they want to turn down the Employee’s request, such as Employees who want to reduce hours due to health problems, or change hours to accommodate religious commitments.

Christopher Moses is Managing Director of Personnel Advice & Solutions Ltd and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  If you have any questions regarding these issues please feel free to contact him on (01529) 305056 or email

While every care has been taken in compiling these notes, Personnel Advice and Solutions Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are intended to provide general information. Guidance for specific legal problems should be sought separately.

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