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Myth 9 - Flexible Working

Myth:

Employees with young children have a right to work part time.

Fact:

Employees with young children do not have an automatic right to work part-time, but they have a right to ask to work flexibly (after six months' service), for example, working part-time.

Employers do not have to agree to such requests, but they must consider them carefully by following a set procedure and only refusing them on specified grounds (these might cover additional costs or impact on performance).

In addition, refusing a flexible working request from a female employee may amount to sex discrimination, on the basis that women are more likely to be primary carers.

Refusal can be objectively justified, but the employer would need to have good reasons for this and, ideally, evidence to support it.

The Department of Enterprise on the Isle of Man has available a useful guide called Flexible Working: The right to request and the duty to consider  - A guide for employers and employees.