Reply to employee requesting a change to working hours

It is always good as an employer to be sympathetic to employees’ requests to change working hours wherever possible. In return employees have been shown to be more loyal to the company.

The requested change in hours needs to be weighed up against the possibility that the employee may leave if the answer is no, meaning that a whole recruitment process will need to be begun with all the ensuing costs.

Of course this does not mean you should immediately agree with everything asked for – your business needs are paramount. For instance you may decide there are some conditions that need to be attached to the counter offer, or perhaps alterations to the requested hours. Make sure these are reasonable and usually a compromise that is acceptable to all can be achieved.

In the following letter it is assumed that the business is small and employees are known by their first names. If yours is a bigger organisation then use the more formal address of Mr, Mrs, Miss etc.


Sample letter for replying to an employee requesting a change in working hours

[Business Address]

[Employee’s Address]

[Today’s date]

Dear [First Name]

Thank you for your letter dated [insert date] regarding your request to change your working hours to fall in line with school term times. [or other reason]

Following a meeting between [detail who made the decision] on [date] they agreed to accept your request to change your working hours to a term time working pattern with the following two caveats:

[the following two bullet points are examples only, replace them with your own]

  • You are to work a minimum of 7 hours during the main school Summer holiday period.
  • Annual Leave can only be taken in school holidays.

These new working hours will begin on [date] for a trial period of six months when the matter will be reviewed again on [date 6 months from this date].

Due to the reduction in working hours your salary and associated benefits will be affected. Your salary will be [details here], your holiday entitlement has been adjusted to [number of hours] and your pension contributions will be [amount]. [Mention any other changes to working terms here].

I hope you find the above terms agreeable. Please can you let me know if you are happy with them and I will begin the process of arranging for the necessary agreement to be drawn up. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss the matter further.

Yours faithfully

[Your Name]


About Me


I’m Sue and I’ve written all the letters on this website. I hope you’ll find them useful.

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