Under provisions set out in the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 and regulations made under it, all eligible employees have a statutory right to ask their employer for a change to their contractual terms and conditions of employment to work flexibly.
Alongside this Policy which relates to formal flexible working arrangements and results in a permanent change to the member of staff’s terms and conditions, unless otherwise agreed, the University has developed guidance for informal flexible working arrangements. This guidance sets out the process for Agile Working arrangements which are agreed locally, with no change to terms and conditions.
The statutory right is a ‘right to request’ and not a right to be granted flexible working. Before 5 April 2015 the right only applied to the parents of children under 17 or 18 in the case of parents of disabled children or to those caring for an adult. Now any eligible employee can apply to work flexibly for any reason.
Accepted applications to work flexibly under the statutory provision will result in a permanent change to the member of staff’s terms and conditions, unless otherwise agreed. That means that once the University accepts a request, an employee has no contractual right to revert to his/ her/ their previous working All other accepted applications made under this procedure will be regularly reviewed in line with the business requirements of the University.
Terms and conditions of employment will be applied on a pro-rata basis including: salary/wage; annual leave/bank holidays; occupational sick pay; maternity leave; paternity leave.
Applications can only be refused if there is a clear business reason. For a list of these see Appendix ii of the Flexible Working Policy.
The member of staff has a right to appeal against the decision, see policy for full details.