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Work more or less hours

Do you ever think about working less? Or do you want to work more hours? Maybe something changes in your private life that makes you want to work more or less. Whatever reason you have for this, you can submit a request to your employer to change the working hours. This means that you ask to work more or less hours. What should be included in your request? And can your employer just reject this?

What should be in the request?

The Flexible Working Act has come into effect on 1 January 2016. On the basis of this act, you can submit a request to your employer to change the working hours. The following conditions apply:

  • The company where you work must have at least 10 employees;
  • You must have been employed for at least six months;
  • You must submit the request in writing to your employer no later than 2 months before the desired commencement date.

What should be included in the written request?

  • The desired start date;
  • The desired job;
  • The desired number of working hours per week and possibly the distribution of the working hours over the week.

Tip: use our sample text, you will find it at the bottom of this blog!

Is your employer allowed to reject your request?

If your employer has not made a decision on the request one month before the intended commencement date of the adjustment, you may start working as requested.

The request may not simply be rejected. A rejection can be opposed if compelling business or service interests oppose it. In the event of a reduction in working hours, there is in any case a compelling business or service interest if that reduction leads to serious problems for operational management in the reassignment of the released hours, in the field of safety, or of a roster-technical nature.

In any event, an increase in the number of working hours constitutes a compelling business or service interest, if this increase leads to serious problems of a financial or organizational nature, because there is not enough work, or because the personnel budget is insufficient for this purpose.

You can submit a request once a year to change the working hours, regardless of whether your request has been granted or rejected.

Do you have any questions? Then contact us. We are happy to help you. We can be reached by telephone on 0345 - 851 963, but you can also email us via

Sample letter request to work more or less

Best ,

I would like to request that you adjust my employment contract.

I am currently working… hours per week / month / 4 weeks in the position of….

From I would like ... to work hours. This means that I will work… hours more / less per week / month / 2 weeks.

I want to spread the hours over the week as follows:

Monday… hours, from… to… hours

Tuesday… hours, from… to… hours

Wednesday ... hours, from ... to ... hours

Thursday ... hours, from ... to ... hours

Friday… hours, from… to… hours

Saturday… hours, from… to… hours

Sunday… hours, from… to… hours

I would like to receive a written confirmation that my request to work more / less hours has been approved.

Yours faithfully,