Flexible Working Policy


Flexible Working Policy pdf(357 kb)

Flexible Working Policy Managers Guide pdf(241 kb)


Go to a specific section:

1. About this policy

2. Forms of flexible working

3. Eligibility

4. How to make a statutory request for flexible working

5. Discussion and consideration

6. Decision

7. Appeal

8. Timescales

9. Withdrawing a request

10. Informal or short term flexible working requests

Appendix A: Flexible Working Options pdf(113 kb)

Appendix B: Template letter for an employee to make a statutory request for flexible working word(70 kb)

Appendix C: Flowchart pdf(179 kb)


1. About this policy

1.1 The university is committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment and to developing work practices and policies that support work-life balance. This Flexible Working Policy gives eligible employees an opportunity to request a change to their working pattern in accordance with the statutory right to request flexible working (a ‘statutory request’).

1.2 This policy applies to all employees. It does not apply to agency workers, consultants or self-employed contractors.

1.3 This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment and the university may amend it at any time.


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2. Forms of flexible working

2.1 Flexible working can incorporate a number of possible changes to working arrangements, such as:reduction or variation of working hours;

  • reduction or variation of working hours;
  • reduction or variation of the days worked;
  • and/or working from a different location (for example, from home).

2.2 Appendix A pdf(113 kb) to this policy provides examples of the types of flexible working arrangements that might be requested.


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3. Eligibilty

3.1 In order to be eligible to make a statutory request for flexible working you must:

  • be an employee;
  • have worked for DMU continuously for 26 weeks at the date your request is made;
  • and not have made a statutory request to work flexibly during the last 12 months.

3.2 Employees who do not meet the eligibility requirements to make a statutory request, may still make an informal request to their manager who will consider the request taking into account business and operational needs. See Informal or short term flexible working requests.


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4. How to make a statutory request for flexible working

4.1 Any employee interested in flexible working is advised to speak informally with their manager to discuss their eligibility, the different options and the effect of their proposed work pattern on colleagues and service delivery, before submitting a statutory request.

4.2 If you wish to make a statutory request for flexible working you must do so in writing and your written request must include the following information:

a) The date of your application, the change to working conditions you are seeking and when you would like the change to come into effect.

b) Explain the reasons for your request, especially if you think the university’s equal opportunities policies may be relevant, for example, if your request concerns childcare or other family commitments, religious or cultural requirements, or adjustments because of a disability.

c) What effect, if any, you think the requested change will have on the university (including work colleagues) and how, in your opinion, any such effect might be dealt with.

d) A statement that this is a statutory request and if and when you have made a previous application for flexible working.

4.3 A template letter word(70 kb) is available that you can use for this purpose. Your written request should be dated and sent to your manager.

4.4 You should submit your statutory request in good time and ideally at least two months before you wish the changes you are requesting to take effect.

4.5 If your manager is able to agree your request without the need for a meeting, they will write to you, confirming the decision. See Request accepted / accepted with modifications.

4.6 If your request cannot be accommodated, discussion between you and your manager may result in an alternative working pattern that can assist you.


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5. Discussion and Consideration

5.1 Your manager will arrange to meet with you to discuss your request. A meeting may not always be required if your manager intends to accept your request.

5.2 If a meeting is required, you may bring a work colleague (who may also be a trade union representative) to the meeting as a companion if you wish.

5.3 The meeting will be used to consider the working arrangements you have requested. You will be able to explain how the arrangements will be of benefit to you and help accommodate your needs. You will also be able to discuss what impact your proposed working arrangements will have on your work and that of your colleagues. If the arrangements you have requested cannot be accommodated, discussion at the meeting also provides an opportunity to explore possible alternative working arrangements.

5.4 Your manager may suggest starting new working arrangements under an initial trial period to ensure that they meet your needs and those of the university.


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6. Decision

6.1 Following the meeting (if applicable), your manager will notify you of the decision in writing.

Request accepted / accepted with modifications

6.2 If your request is accepted, or it is accepted with modifications agreed as part of a discussion with you, you will receive a letter with details of the new working arrangements, details of any trial period, an explanation of changes to your contract of employment (if any) and the date on which they will commence. If there are any changes to your contract of employment eg changes to hours, salary and annual leave entitlement, you will receive a letter from HR confirming the changes.

6.3 You will be asked to sign and return a copy of the letter. This will be placed on your personnel file to confirm your acceptance of the variation to your terms of employment.

6.4 Unless otherwise agreed (and subject to any agreed trial period) changes to your terms of employment will be permanent. You will not be able to make another statutory request until 12 months after the date of your most recent request.

Request not accepted

6.5 There will be circumstances where, due to business and operational requirements, your manager is unable to agree to your request. In these circumstances, your manager will write to you:

a) giving the business reason(s) for turning down your request; and

b) setting out how you can appeal the decision.


6.6 The eight business reasons for which your manager may reject your request are:

a) The burden of additional costs.

b) Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand.

c) Inability to reorganise work among existing staff.

d) Inability to recruit additional staff.

e) Detrimental impact on quality.

f) Detrimental impact on performance.

g) Insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work.

h) Planned structural changes.


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7. Appeal

7.1 If your request is rejected, you may appeal the decision.

7.2 You will need to write to the person specified in your decision letter (this will normally be your manager’s manager) setting out your reasons for appealing the decision. Your letter must:

a) be in writing and dated

b) set out the grounds* on which you are appealing, and

c) be sent to the specified person within seven working days of the date on which you received the written decision.

* An appeal might be raised on the following grounds (examples only):

a) The manager’s view in rejecting the request was based on incorrect facts.

b) New information has come to light which was not known at the time of your request and which, had it been considered at the time, might have resulted in a different decision being reached.

c) There was an omission in following a reasonable procedure when considering your request.

7.3 Where necessary, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your appeal. If a meeting is required, you may bring a work colleague (who may also be a trade union representative) to the meeting as a companion if you wish.

7.4 You will be informed of the final decision following this meeting as soon as possible after the meeting. You will be kept informed of any delays. See also Timescales.

7.5 The outcome of the appeal will either be either that:

Request accepted / accepted with modifications; or

Request not accepted

as set out in 6.2 to 6.6.


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8. Timescales

8.1 Statutory flexible working requests will be considered within an overall period of three months from the date of receipt of the written request (the ‘decision period’). The decision period includes any final decision following an appeal. A flowchart is shown at Appendix Cpdf(179 kb)

8.2 If your manager needs more time to consider your request, they may ask for your agreement to extend the decision period. A request for an extension may be of benefit, for example, your manager may need more time to investigate how your request can be accommodated or to consult several members of staff.

8.3 Where an extension of time is agreed with you, your manager will write to you confirming the extension and the date on which it will end.


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9. Withdrawing a request

9.1 If you withdraw a statutory request for flexible working, you will not be eligible to make another statutory request for 12 months from the date of your original request.

Failure to attend meetings

9.2 In certain circumstances, a statutory request will be treated as withdrawn if you fail to attend a meeting and a re-arranged meeting arranged to discuss your request without good cause. In such circumstances, your manager will write to you confirming that the request has been treated as withdrawn.

9.3 This will also apply where you have appealed the decision and fail to attend an appeal meeting and a re-arranged appeal meeting without good cause.


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10. Informal or short term flexible working requests

10.1 Employees who wish to make an informal request for flexible working, or who are seeking short term flexibility to help them manage a short term need (eg to cope with a bereavement or for a short course of study), may make a request to their manager who will consider it taking into account the needs of the employee and the university.

10.2 It will help your manager to consider your request if you:

a) make your request in writing and confirm whether you wish any change to your current working pattern to be temporary or permanent;

b) provide as much information as you can about your current and desired working pattern, including working days, hours and start and finish times, and give the date from which you want your desired working pattern to start;

c) think about what effect the changes to your working pattern will have on the work that you do and on your colleagues, as well as on service delivery. If you have any suggestions about dealing with any potentially negative effects, please include these in your written application.

10.3 Your manager will advise you what steps will be taken to consider your request, which may include inviting you to attend a meeting, before advising you of the outcome of your request.

NB If you are making a request under the statutory right to request process you will not have a statutory right to request another variation in contractual terms for a period of 12 months although you may still ask without the statutory right.


Appendix A: Flexible Working Options pdf(113 kb)

Appendix B: Template letter for an employee to make a statutory request for flexible working word(70 kb)

Appendix C: Flowchart pdf(179 kb)

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