Introduction to this document

Letter reminding employee of flexible working arrangement terms

Some employees think that a flexible working arrangement is precisely that: the right to come and go exactly as they please! If they're not keeping to its terms, you need to set them straight. Not doing so could store up problems. Our letter makes the position crystal clear.

Spell it out

Sometimes, when you've agreed a flexible working application, the employee concerned will treat it as permission to come and go as they please. Of course, if that's what you've agreed they can do then there's no problem - but most employers don't grant fully flexible working patterns. Also, those employees who discover they don't like a new flexible working arrangement might try to sneak back to their old working hours without your permission. Not only is this unacceptable, it breaches their terms and conditions of employment.

There is a risk here: if you allow them to continue unchallenged, they could try to argue that you've accepted what they're doing, i.e. it's become a contractual term by default. You certainly don't want to be in that position so, at the first sign of trouble, be sure to put them on notice that their behaviour must stop.

 

A gentle reminder 

Our Letter Reminding Employee of Flexible Working Arrangement Terms explains:

  1. The terms of your flexible working arrangement.
  2. That, when agreed, it amounted to a permanent change to their contract of employment.
  3. That you expect them to start abiding by those terms with immediate effect.
  4. What will happen if they continue to ignore their terms and conditions of employment, i.e. it will result in disciplinary action being taken.

If this doesn't do the trick, i.e. they continue doing what they like, you can commence disciplinary action in accordance with your usual procedures.

Where an employee informs you that their flexible working arrangement is no longer suitable, you can deal with this as you see fit. For example, if the pattern is good for you there is no reason why you can't insist that they stick to it; after all these are the terms of their contract. Alternatively, you could negotiate something else but you are under no obligation to do this. Neither should you devote lots of time to finding something that suits your employee - that's not the thinking behind this statutory right.

Note. Once an employee has made a statutory application, they can't make a further one for twelve months; this is regardless of whether their original request was accepted or rejected.