Workers who have been in a position for longer than 25 weeks and who care for a child have the right to ask for flexible hours.
In the UK, over 8 million people are now part-time workers, although approximately 1.5 million of these are part-time as they were unable to find a full-time position according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Anyone is entitled to request that their contract be altered from full to part-time. How much of a legal right you have to change is limited.
Under the Employment Rights Act of 1996, anyone who has been in their employment for 26 weeks and who either looks after a child or who is the parent of a child has the right to request flexible working hours. This could include either working from home, changed working hours, or reduced working hours.
However, there is no automatic legal right to flexible working. Challenging a refusal to flexible working will be hard if your employer can demonstrate that they have thoroughly considered your proposal.
Do bear in mind that, in some cases, if your employer fails to use prescribed business reasons to justify its refusal then it could be subject to an accusation of indirect sex discrimination, as the majority of those caring for children are women.
A recent survey by the Institute of Leadership and Management showed that part-time employees are more motivated than their full-time counterparts. 75% of part-time workers agreed they were ‘highly or fairly motivated’, whilst 68% of full-time workers stated the same. In addition, the survey found that part-time workers were more likely to hold their managers in higher regard, and to have more respect for their employer (57%), when compared to full-time staff (49%).
Find out more about our employment law services in Peterborough.