What is flexible working?
All employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment service are entitled to make one statutory flexible working request per year. Your employer has a duty to consider requests for flexible working in a reasonable manner in accordance with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) code of practice on work flexibly. The statutory right has limitations and the NEU recommends that members seek flexible working arrangements informally before relying on the statutory procedure.
This guidance is primarily for education workers who are already in employment.
Before you start
Ask your workplace rep or school or college office for copies of relevant policies and procedures, e.g. flexible working, job share, home working policies. The statutory entitlements offer the minimum flexible working rights; many employers offer flexible working arrangements that are more generous.
Consider your own needs, including the sort of flexibility you need. Think about how your request could be accommodated and how it might impact on the team or department in which you work. Talk to colleagues who are working flexibly for tips on how they secured the arrangement and how they have made it work.
If you don’t have an immediate need to work flexibly, you could consider working collectively with colleagues to secure flexible working arrangements across the workplace or within a department that meet the needs of all staff and students.
Explore the NEU model policy on flexible working; you could discuss with your rep how to get your school to adopt the NEU model to support other members seeking flexible working: