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Q: Two members of staff have recently submitted requests for flexible working. Whilst each has a worthy case, we can’t approve both due to business needs. How do we choose which one to select? A: There are a couple of options that you could look at. The first being the principle of “first come, first served”, however, even though this option may look appealing, it is likely to aggravate the employee whose request you reject. To avoid this, it is sensible to meet with both of them separately and explain why you can’t accept both of their applications. This may lead to them working together to find a compromise that works for all involved. Lastly, you could look at not accepting either case, and although you wouldn’t be making either happy, it won’t lead to discriminatory charges. If you do reject one or both applications, it must be on approved business grounds. Finally, remember to keep records of discussions.

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