An email is now as acceptable as any request made ‘in writing’.
Your employer has to then meet up with you to have a discussion with you regarding the application before 28 days of receipt of the request or if the person who has been approved to deal with it is on holiday, e.g. the Human Resources manager, 28 days after they return. You are permitted to bring along a work colleague to the meeting with you.
At the actual meeting your employer may make some suggestions that are alternatives to the working arrangement that you have requested, or maybe a trial time period. You are not required to agree with them but you must keep in your mind that your employer also does not have to submit to your requests so it may be better to work out a compromise.
Your employer has the responsibility to think over your request in a proper manner, with the assurance that no discrimination takes place. This means making sure for example that your request hasn’t been rejected because it was given to another person with no specific reason offered.
If your request has been refused, there has to be a suitable business reason why your employer has rejected it and they have to inform you of their decision less than fourteen days after the meeting. The time limit can be lengthened if both parties agree.