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Flexible working

Find information and legislation on flexible working including employment issues relating to parents and carers. Our selection of articles, links and guides can help you find latest legislation and guidance and identify best practice to apply to your business.

What's on this page?

  • Legal Alert
  • Acas guidance
  • eBooks
  • Online articles
  • Useful links
  • Articles and books in the Library collection

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Featured article

Who does flexible working work for?

An examination of flexible working in the UK. The article discusses the challenges faced by large companies in implementing flexible working, with contributions from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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ICAEW guide

The ICAEW guide to flexible working
A guide to help employers stay up-to-date with regulations and best practice on flexible working.

Legal Alert

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Case law: Court clarifies when employers may reject requests to work flexibly

December 2016

Employers who deal with a request to work flexibly in a reasonable manner and within applicable time limits, and whose decision does not breach discrimination law, may lawfully refuse a request that falls within a specified ground for rejection in the relevant legislation, a recent ruling makes clear.

Exchanging employment rights for shares

November 2012

Employers should note that radical plans have been announced for employees to give up some of their statutory employment rights in exchange for shares in an employer’s business. Legal Alert, November 2012.

Proposed flexible working withdrawn

April 2011

Initially due in April 2011, employers should note that the proposed extension of the right to request flexible working to the parents of 17 year olds has been withdrawn. Legal Alert, April 2011.

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Acas guidance

Advice, guidance and practical resources on a wide variety of recruitment topics for both employers and employees, produced by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas. Acas is the employment relations service for England, Scotland and Wales offering practical, independent and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives.

Flexible working and work-life balance

Acas June 2015

Acas guide outlining important considerations for employers of all sizes when implementing flexible working practices. The guide covers the potential benefits and challenges of different types of flexible working: flexitime, part-time work, overtime, job sharing, compressed hours, shift work, annualised hours, term-time working, temporary working/fixed-term contracts, sub-contracting, zero hours contracts, homeworking, mobile working and hot-desking.

Flexible working requests: Acas video

Acas October 2017

Acas short video in which an Acas adviser answers three commonly asked questions by employers and employees regarding flexible working: How do I change my contract; How do I deal with a request for flexible working; How can I reduce my working hours after returning from maternity leave.

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The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Flexible working arrangements

This section of the Handbook looks at the following flexible arrangements: flexible working; Bring-Your-Own-Device; Part-time workers; job-sharing; homeworkers.

Flexible working for parents and carers

This section from the chapter on employment looks at the legal right for employees to apply for flexible working.

Get the best from a career break: how to make the most from your time away from the office

How to exploiting the opportunities available from career breaks

Maternity/paternity rights, Adoption leave and pay, flexible working for parents and carers

These sections of the chapter on employment law cover the rights of working parents including maternity and paternity leave and pay; shared parental leave and pay; adoption leave and pay, flexible working for carers and parents; time off for dependents; and the right to return to work after maternity leave.

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Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Useful links

Carers UK 
Information, factsheets and advice on carers' rights. Carers UK campaigns 'for a better recognition of the true value of carers' contribution to society'.

Flexible working
Guidance from the UK Government's Gov.uk website on types of flexible working, asking for flexible working ('making a statutory application') and the appeals process if your employer turns down the request.

Flexible working: working for families, working for business (Family Friendly Working Hours Taskforce report)
Flexibility for the future: The government’s response to the recommendations of the family friendly working hours taskforce
The Family Friendly Working Hours Taskforce was a group established by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2009 representing business, employees and families, non-government bodies and government departments to 'provide expert perspective on flexible working practices and provide recommendations for change'. The page is now archived at National Archives.

Flexible working practices
Information and guidance from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), including a flexible working factsheet covering various forms of flexible working, its benefits and the law as well as advice for implementation. Free registration required.

Working Families
Working Families, the 'UK's leading work-life balance organisation', carries out research and runs campaigns to improve the balance between responsibilities at home and work and help employers to create workplaces which encourage work-life balance for everyone. Its website provides information and resources on issues of flexible and family friendly working arrangements for parents and carers as well as for employers. 

Working hours, flexible working and time off (EHRC advice for employers)
Your rights to equality at work: working hours, flexible working and time off (EHRC advice for employees)
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) provides guidance for employers and employees on current legislation and best practice. The EHRC has also published a short guide to flexible working aimed at small business owners. This guide includes case studies, key principles for implementing new ways of working and a directory of useful contacts.

Family-friendly work 
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) provides access to a useful selection of links to TUC and external resources on flexible working, a booklet on flexible working for parents and carers and a guide to family friendly rights.

Articles and books in the Library collection

This is a selection of articles and reports in our collection which contain information on flexible working – click on the links to see our catalogue record and holdings for each item. Please contact us if you would like to borrow a book or request a copy of an article.  

The future of work is flexible
(Company Secretary's Review, 2015)
Article looks at how businesses are now aware that having a diverse and flexible culture is important for attracting and retaining the best talent.

Find more articles and books

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

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ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.

Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.