Knowledge Centre

Flexible Working


Flexible working is a tailored approach to work, accommodating employees’ needs through options such as flexible start and finish times or remote work. While regulations differ in Northern Ireland, all employees, not just parents and carers, have the legal right to request flexible working, termed a ‘statutory application,’ from day 1 of employment. (Previously 26 weeks prior to 6th April 2024).

Employers are obligated to handle requests reasonably, considering factors like advantages and disadvantages, holding discussions with employees, and providing an appeals process. Failure to handle requests reasonably can lead to employment tribunal proceedings. Employers may refuse applications with a valid business reason.

Further information can be found at ACAS – Flexible Working

Types of Flexible Working

Various flexible working arrangements include job sharing, working from home, part-time work, compressed hours, flexitime, annualised hours, staggered hours, and phased retirement. These options provide diverse solutions to cater to employees’ preferences and needs, offering flexibility in working arrangements.

Flexible working and payroll

Employee’s that change hours, shifts and rotas may experience changes in pay or pension contribution eligibility.

It is important that the full effects on their remuneration package is discussed from the outset.  For instance, an employee that was previously salary sacrificing pay in return for increased holiday may not be able to continue to do so as a breach in National Minimum Wage could occur.

Alternatively, pension contributions made by an employer may reduce inline with changes in the employee’s pay.

A further complications may arise with regard to holiday entitlement or statutory benefits such as Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay.

It is important that changes to employee working arrangements are discussed with your payroll manager.


For further information regarding flexible working visit GOV.UK