From 30 June, most employees who have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks can ask to work flexibly. Previously, only those with children or caring responsibilities were able to make a flexible working request.

The process of making a flexible working request is simplified as well and the whole process should not take more than three months. The right is still only a right to ask, you do not have a right to work flexibly.

If you are finding it hard to balance your work life with other commitments, you could consider asking to work flexibly. This means asking your employer to work in a different way from the way you work at present. This could mean changing how long you work, or when you start and finish work, or changing the place where you work, for example, working from home for one day a week. The change may be permanent or temporary.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is the name given to any type of working pattern which is different from your existing one.

Flexible working arrangements may include:

  • changing from full-time to part-time work
  • changing the part-time hours that you work, for example, from weekends to week days
  • changing working hours to fit in with, for example, school hours, college hours or care arrangements
  • compressed hours, that is, working your usual hours in fewer days
  • flexitime, which allows you to fit your working hours around agreed core times
  • home working for part or all of the time
  • job sharing
  • self-rostering. This is most often found in hospitals and care services. You put forward the times you would like to work. Once staff levels and skills are worked out, the shift pattern is drawn up matching your preferences as closely as possible
  • shift working
  • staggered hours, these allow you to start and finish your days at different times. This is often useful in the retail sector where it is important to have more staff over the lunchtime period but fewer at the start and end of the day
  • time off in lieu
  • teleworking
  • annualised hours, this means that working time is organised around the number of hours to be worked over a year rather than over a week. Annualised hours work best when there is a rise and fall in workload during the year.
  • term-time work, so you don’t work during the school holidays.

There is also information, including a guidance and a draft Code of Practice, and on the Acas website at

For help from Salford Citizens Advice visit your local bureau in Eccles, Irlam and Cadishead, Salford City, Swinton, Walkden or at Salford Royal. You can check out our opening times on

Telephone our advice line: 0844 826 9695 (if calling from a landline or if calling from a mobile 0300 456 2554). Our phone line is now open on Saturdays mornings.



Tom Togher.