Implementing agreed flexible working changes
If you agree to an employee’s request for flexible working, you’ll need to ascertain exactly what the new flexible working changes will entail. In order to implement these changes you’ll then have to either amend the existing employment contract or implement a new one which is appropriate. Adopting a flexible working policy will allow you to set out the procedure of submitting and dealing with requests, which will be helpful to both employees and managers.
Amending the existing contract
If the changes are relatively minor, you can opt to amend the existing employment terms rather than drafting a brand new contract of employment. This can be done using a Variation of Employment deed (where changes need to be made to specific contractual clauses) or an Alteration Letter For Employment Terms & Conditions Employment (if the changes relate to more general details).
Even if the changes are relatively minor, you should always ensure that these are agreed to in writing by the employee and signed by worker and employer alike. Unilaterally changing any contractual terms can potentially lead to a breach of contract claim.
Deciding on a new employment contract
If the new flexible terms of working amount to a more substantial change, it’s normally best to set up a brand new employment contract and move your employee across. Some of the options are as follows:
Variable hours – variable start and finish times based on the organisation’s normal working week; a variant of flexi-time
Part-time - fewer hours than whatever is considered full time in your organisation
Compressed hours - working normal hours over a shorter period of time than is normal in your organisation. For example, employees may work a standard 35-hour week in four days instead of five days and so obtain an extra day off per week
Annualised hours - a set number of hours each year but you decide when you need the employees to work these (subject to working time limits)
Term time hours - particularly useful for employers in the academic sector or those who employ parents who want to spend school holidays at home (but bear in mind non-parents must be treated equally)
Job sharing - this involves two members of staff, each of whom works part time but, together, provide a full time resource
Shift and night work - useful in certain industries such as manufacturing or delivery
Flexi-time - flexibility based around a set number of “core” hours
Homeworking - allowing employees who can do their work from a laptop to work from a remote location at certain times
We have a range of documents and letters which are helpful for employers who are implementing flexible working requests. These can be downloaded from our Employment Documents Folder. Click on the relevant links below for further information.