Flexible Working Policy

This policy aims to encourage staff to consider flexible working arrangements. Kea Preschool recognises that a better work-life balance can improve employee motivation, performance and productivity, and reduce stress. Therefore the organisation wants to support its employees achieve a better balance between work and their other priorities, such as caring responsibilities, leisure activities, further learning and other interests. Kea Preschool is committed to agreeing any flexible working arrangements, provided that the needs and objectives of both Kea Preschool and the employee can be met.

It is Kea Preschool policy to encourage open discussion with employees. An employee that thinks they may benefit from flexible working is encouraged to contact the manager to arrange an informal discussion to talk about the options.

What is flexible working?

Flexible working is any type of working arrangement that gives some degree of flexibility on how long, where and when an employee works.

The following flexible working options are considered to be the typical arrangements that employees will request but the organisation recognises that there may be alternatives or a combination of options which are suitable to both Kea Preschool and the employee:

  • Compressed hours
  • Job-sharing
  • Overtime
  • Part-time working
  • Term-time working

Types of flexible working

  • Compressed hoursis where an employee works their usual full time hours in fewer days by working longer blocks meaning that there is no reduction in their pay. For example, a 5-day week is compressed into four days, or a 10-day fortnight into 9 days.
  • Job-sharing is an arrangement where a full-time post is divided into two part-time roles. The two job holders then share the overall duties and responsibilities. Their skills and the hours each employee wishes to work must be compatible, and meet the needs of Kea Preschool. Pay and benefits are shared in proportion to the hours each works. Job sharing can be considered where the creation of a single part-time post is difficult, or where two individuals wish to work part-time. The suitability of posts for job-sharing will be stated in any internal or external advertisements.
  • Overtime is when hours are worked in addition to the usual full time hours. Overtime can be agreed where Kea Preschool would benefit from an employee working more hours. This is voluntary and an employee can refuse overtime if they wish. Overtime will be paid at the same rate of pay.
  • Part-time working covers any arrangement where an employee is contracted to work anything less than typical full time hours for the type of work in question. For example, an employee who only works Monday to Wednesday. The organisation believes that all posts will be available on a part-time basis, except where a critical examination by line management proves this to be impracticable. The suitability of posts for part-time working will be stated in any internal or external advertisements.
  • Term-time working is where an employee reduces their hours or takes time off during any school holidays. Any weeks above their annual leave entitlement will be unpaid. Salary can be paid in 12 equal monthly instalments (although arrangements may be permitted where an employee is only paid for the time worked and receive no pay during the holidays apart from their entitlement to annual leave).

The needs of the organisation

Kea Preschool is committed to providing a range of appropriate working patterns. However employees and management need to be realistic and to recognise that not all flexible working options will be appropriate for all roles.

Where a flexible working arrangement is proposed Kea Preschool will need to take into account a number of criteria including (but not limited to) the following:

  • the costs associated with the proposed arrangement
  • the effect of the proposed arrangement on other staff
  • the effect of the proposed arrangements with regards to key children.
  • the need for, and effect on, supervision
  • the existing structure of the department
  • the availability of staff resources
  • details of the tasks specific to the role
  • the workload of the role
  • whether it is a request for a reasonable adjustment related to a disability
  • health and safety issues


Any employee with at least 26 weeks of employment service has a statutory right to request flexible working.

Submitting a flexible working request

An eligible employee is entitled to submit one flexible working request in a 12 month period (an employee is entitled to additional requests if they relate to a statutory entitlement, for example the Equality Act 2010 right to request reasonable adjustments).

All requests must be made by email or letter to the manager. Any request made must include:

  • the date of the application
  • the changes that the employee is seeking to their terms and conditions
  • the date from when the employee would like the proposed change to come into effect
  • what effect the employee thinks the requested change would have on the organisation
  • how, in their view, any such effect could be dealt with
  • whether this is a statutory or non-statutory request
  • whether a previous application for flexible working has been made
  • the dates of any previous applications

If the employee is making the request in relation to the Equality Act, e.g. as a reasonable adjustment relating to a disability, this should be made clear in the application.

If an application does not contain all of the required information the manager will explain to the employee what additional or amended information they need to provide and ask the employee to resubmit the request.

Meetings regarding flexible working

Upon receiving a written request for flexible working the manager will usually seek to arrange a meeting with the employee to:

  • discuss the request
  • find out more about the proposed working arrangements
  • how it could be of benefit to both the employee and Kea Preschool

If a meeting is arranged it will be held within 28 days of Kea Preschool receiving the request. This time limit may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and the manager.

The employee will be given advance notice of the time, date and place of the meeting. If the initial date is problematic then one further date will be proposed. If a face to face meeting is difficult to arrange then, if agreed by the employee and the manager, the meeting may be held over the telephone or video call.

At the meeting the employee may, if they wish, be accompanied by a workplace colleague or a trade union representative.

If the employee fails to attend a meeting and then fails to attend a rearranged meeting without good reason, their application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.

Where a request can, without further discussion, be approved as stated in the employee’s written application a meeting to discuss the request may not be necessary. The employee will be informed of Kea Preschool’s agreement to the request by a confirmation letter as outlined in the section ‘Responding to a flexible working request’ within 28 days of receiving the request. This time limit may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and the manager.

Responding to a flexible working request

The manager will consider the proposed flexible working arrangements, looking at the potential benefits and adverse effects to the employee and Kea Preschool in implementing the proposed changes.

Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Agreeing to one request will not set a precedent or create the right for another employee to be granted a similar change to their working pattern.

The employee will be informed in writing or by email of the decision as soon as is reasonably practicable, but no later than 14 days after the meeting.

The request may be granted in full, in part, or refused. Kea Preschool may propose a modified version of the request, the request may be granted on a temporary basis, or the employee may be asked to try the flexible working arrangement for a trial period. If the request is agreed then the employee will be sent a confirmation letter which will include details of the new arrangements. The employee should contact the manager within 14 days if they wish to discuss the new arrangements further, or have any concerns.

Right to appeal decision

The employee has the right to appeal the decision if their request is refused or is only agreed in part.

The employee may lodge an appeal within 14 days of being notified of a decision on their application. This should be done in writing and clearly state the grounds on which they are appealing. The appeal will be heard within 14 days. The employee will then be informed of the outcome to their appeal within 14 days of the appeal meeting. These time limits may be extended with the agreement of both the employee and the manager.

Trialling new working arrangements

Where there is some uncertainty about whether the flexible working arrangement is practicable for an employee and/or Kea Preschool, a trial period may be agreed. If a trial period is arranged Kea Preschool will allow sufficient time for an employee and their manager to implement and become used to the new working practices before taking any decisions on the viability of a new arrangement.

Varying an employee’s contract

Where flexible working practices are agreed as a permanent change, a variation will need to be made to the employee’s contract of employment. A new contract of employment will be sent to the employee within 28 days of the change to the employee’s working pattern being agreed.

If the employee has any questions or concerns about the new contract of employment they should contact the manager to discuss the matter further.

Where a trial period has been arranged Kea Preschool will provide the employee with a document that details their new working pattern and makes clear that it is only a temporary variation to the terms of the employee’s contract. The employee will be informed in writing of the start and end dates of the trial period (although Kea Preschoolmay reduce or lengthen the trial period where necessary with the agreement of the employee). Kea Preschool will reserve the right, at the end of the agreed trial period, to require the employee to revert to their previous working arrangement.

Complaints and further information

Kea Preschool is strongly opposed to any form of victimisation of individuals who work, or request to work under flexible working arrangements.

If an employee feels that they have been treated unfairly or are dissatisfied with any stage of the flexible process, they should raise their concerns informally with the manager or committee.

If informal discussions do not resolve the matter to an employee’s satisfaction, they should raise a grievance under Kea Preschool’s grievance procedure.

For further information an employee should refer to the documents listed below and/or contact the manager.

Law relating to this document:

Employment Rights Act 1996

Equality Act 2010

Flexible Working Regulations 2014

This policy was adopted by Kea Preschool Ltd
Adopted On 1st October 2021
Date reviewed 25th October 2023
Date to be Reviewed October 2024
Signed on behalf of the provider TMKEMP
Name of signatory Tracey Kemp
Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner) Manager