Introduction to this document

Temporary flexible working arrangement letter

If you are willing to agree an urgent temporary flexible working arrangement with an employee outside the terms of your flexible working policy, use our letter to confirm that arrangement.

Unexpected domestic circumstances

Normally, if an employee is seeking a flexible working arrangement, whether permanently or for a defined temporary period, they will formally apply under the terms of your flexible working policy - see our Flexible Working Policy. If you then agree to the employee’s proposals, or you reach a compromise with them on a suitable alternative working pattern, you’ll issue our Flexible Working Acceptance Letter to them. The formal flexible working application process should always be followed wherever possible. However, from time to time, urgent, unforeseen situations may arise where the employee seeks an immediate flexible working arrangement and there just isn’t time to go through the formal process. This is usually where there is a sudden and unexpected change in the employee’s domestic arrangements which is outside their control, e.g. their spouse or partner moves out of the family home and this results in a breakdown in their childcare provision, their child is excluded from school, a dependant is taken seriously ill or involved in an accident, etc. As a result, as well as perhaps taking a day or two off work under the statutory right to unpaid time off for dependants (where that right applies), they might request some immediate temporary changes to their start and finish times or to their working hours or days or they might ask to temporarily work from home.

Temporary solution only

Our Temporary Flexible Working Arrangement Letter provides a description of the proposed temporary working pattern and establishes a start and end date, after which it makes clear that the employee will revert to their previous working pattern. It also enables you to set out details of any additional temporary employment contract variations, i.e. any other temporary changes that may need to be made to the employee’s terms and conditions of employment, such as a revised salary for reduced working hours. In addition, we’ve inserted a provision that if the employee fails (without good reason) to abide by the terms of the arrangement, you have the right to withdraw it immediately. Finally, our letter points out that the arrangement has been granted outside the terms of your flexible working policy and so the exercise of your discretion to allow the arrangement at this time doesn’t indicate that you’d be willing to accept any formal application the employee might subsequently make for a permanent flexible working arrangement. There’s then an acceptance slip for the employee to sign and return to confirm their agreement to the terms of the arrangement.