The right to distribution of the reduced working hours requires that the employee requests the reduction in working hours and its scope in a timely manner (Section 8 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 TzBfG).

The desired distribution of the reduced working hours “should” (not “must”) be stated (Section 8 Paragraph 2 Sentence 2 TzBfG). The employee can choose whether he only requests a reduction in working hours and leaves it to the employer to distribute the remaining working hours (§ 106 GewO), or whether he wants a specific distribution of working hours.

If an employee asserts both a reduction and a distribution request in accordance with Section 8 TzBfG, both regularly depend on each other (uniform contract offer). In this case, the action for approval of the application for a reduction is unfounded if operational reasons conflict with the desired distribution of working hours. If the employer has rejected the offer to reduce and distribute working hours (Section 8 Paragraph 5 Sentence 1 TzBfG), the pre-trial proceedings under Section 8 TzBfG are concluded.

From this point onwards, the employee can no longer change his distribution request. After rejection by the employer, the changed distribution request can only be confirmed by a renewed request for reduction and distribution under the conditions of Section 8 Paragraph. 6 TzBfG enforceable. The Ninth Senate made this clear in its judgment of June 24, 2008 ( 9 AZR 514/07 ). The Senate left it open as to whether a binding effect on the specific distribution request would occur at an earlier point in time.