Do I have to agree to change employee’s working hours?

All employees have a legal right to ask for a change to their working hours providing they have worked for the company for 26 weeks or more. Each employee may only make 1 application per annum.

When a request is received you should hold a meeting with your employee to discuss the request. Your employee can bring a colleague or trade union representative with them to this meeting.

You do not HAVE TO agree to change an employees working hours, but you are obliged to give the matter serious consideration and if you deny the right to give a clear explanation of why you have not agreed. You also need to make a decision within 3 months of the request being submitted.

The following are valid reasons for denying a request to change working hours:

  • Additional financial cost to the business
  • A negative effect on the businesses ability to serve its customers
  • An inability to rearrange work with other employees
  • Not being able to recruit other staff
  • A negative effect on quality of work or performance
  • Non-availability of work during periods employee wishes to work
  • Organisational restructuring

You should also be aware that not granting the change could result in the loss of the employee

Filled Under: Contracts Posted on: 5th May 2020

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