A Early Years’ Manager recently asked us about how to handle a flexible working request (FWR) and to provide them with guidance on how to follow a FWR through from start to finish.
They were genuinely surprised when I referred them to the employee handbook in the first instance.
While the handbook is primarily to inform employees of the day-to-day rules and procedures of the workplace, many of the policies and procedures will not only inform the employee of what is expected of them but also how a manager should look to handle matters.
We feel Employee Handbooks are the Manager’s friend as they provide a consistent approach to management. They can’t cover every eventuality, and nor would you want them to, but consistency of treatment is a key tenet of employment law and human resources. Handling employee’s queries consistency is incredibly important.
So lets take the Flexible Working Request as an example.
The policy will inform the manager and the employee about:
- Is the employee eligible to make a request? (they have to have 26 weeks service and have not made another request in the last 12 months)
- What they can ask for in terms of the changes sought?
- How to set this out and to whom it must go?
- What will happen next?
- The possible outcomes?
- And appealing the outcome if it is not the desired one?
By looking at the policy a Manager will be able to inform the employee with confidence that:
- Yes, they can if they have at least 26 weeks of service;
- Changes to hours, times, patterns of work and even location (if appropriate) will need to be requested;
- That it should be in writing and to whom to send it and what they need to consider from their own and the employer’s point of view to make it work;
- It might be agreed, or a meeting held to discuss it and consider other possibilities which might include other options, or having it on a trial basis.
- How to appeal if you are unhappy and what will happen?
While the policy will not cover every question, (that is where we come in for the unusual, odd or out of the ordinary elements of the request) it will often help.
As always, let us know if we can be of any assistance by calling us on 01527 909436.