To qualify, the parent or caring for a child under the age of 17 (18 years of age for a child with a disability) must have been an employee for a minimum of 26 weeks (six months).
The employer must consider the request, inviting the employee to a meeting to discuss the details of the request.
An employer can refuse such a request for one or more of the following reasons:
- The burden of additional costs;
- Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand;
- Inability to re-organise work among existing staff;
- Inability to recruit additional staff;
- Detrimental impact on quality;
- Detrimental impact on performance;
- Insufficiency of work during the period the employee proposes to work; or
- Planned structural changes.
An important factor not on the list is ensure that in making of the decision, the process and reasoning does not fall foul of the Equality Act 2010.
It is pointless speculating about the potential grounds an employee might have for taking issue however problems usually arise when an employer has failed to follow the procedure or has provided erroneous information in their decision.