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Flexible Working Policy

This policy sets out the College's approach to requests for flexible working conditions for staff responsible for a child or for a dependant adult or undertaking a qualification which would require a reduction in hours over a significant period.

1 Purpose

 By legislation, staff with at least 26 weeks service and who are responsible for a child up to the age of 16 (or 18 in the case of a disabled child), or have responsibility for a dependant adult, have the right to request a flexible working arrangement which may take the form of a reduction in hours, job share or a home working arrangement. One application to work flexibly may be made in any 12-month period. 

The College is prepared to consider any reasonable requests from staff who for the above reasons wish to apply for a flexible working arrangement. 

The legal requirement excludes other categories of staff, however in certain circumstances, staff may be permitted to make an application. 

Staff undertaking a qualification which would require a reduction in hours over a significant period should make an application under this scheme. 

2 Part time Working

Part-time working is regarded as anything less than 35 hours per week. Generally this is because the demands of the job do not require a full-time member of staff, or where the job is quite specific in nature and can be allocated on a part-time basis. 

If you have a contract to work on a part-time basis you will not be treated any differently from your full-time colleagues and will be expected to take on the same responsibilities for your work. Your entitlements and benefits will be pro-rata to the full-time equivalent, depending on the number of hours you work each week. You will have equal access to training opportunities. 

3 Job Sharing 

This is where two people share all the duties and tasks of one job. Each partner picks up the work of the other when they start work and continue with the work responsibilities until it is time for the first partner to return. Any new work that comes in is treated in the same way and is either dealt with in full or passed on.

 It is usually only two people that share one job, as more than this number may create operational difficulties. Generally the week is shared out between the partners, in full days rather than half days.

4 Home Working 

Depending on the individual circumstances the option of Home working is available for staff. This is where an employee works from home or away from the College for a proportion of the working week. This mode of flexible working requires staff to have a firm management of their work, and good communication with their Head of Department. There are a number of roles that are not suitable for home working, and you should discuss the suitability aspect with your Head of Department or a member of the Personnel Team before submitting a formal request. 

5 Flexible Hours 

The standard full-time contractual hours at the College are Monday to Friday, from 9.30 am to 5.30pm, with one hour for lunch. There are a few staff on specific contracts who work non-standard shifts, such as Security staff; also local arrangements to vary this by up to half an hour at each end of the day are in place and work satisfactorily. 

It may be beneficial in some cases for both individuals and for departments to have working hours which are outside the standard hours. The College would always wish to ensure that such arrangements were acceptable with regards to Heath and Safety. 

6 How to apply for a part time, Job share, Home working or Flexible Hours arrangement 

You should put your request in writing to your Head of Department with a copy sent to the Personnel Department. Your request should do the following; 

• State that your request is being made under the Statutory right to request a flexible working pattern 

• State that your request is to help care for a child or adult for whom you have responsibility 

• Specify the flexible working pattern applied for and the date on which it is proposed the change should become effective 

• Explain what effect, if any, the proposed change would have on the department and how, in your opinion, any such effect should be dealt with 

• The reasons why you believe your preferred working pattern is compatible with the needs of the department 

• Suggest how the department will operate if your working pattern is changed 

• State whether a previous application has been made and when 

• Sign and date the request. 

7 The procedure for requests for flexible working 

Your Head of Department will arrange a meeting with you within 28 days of receiving your request in order to discuss the logistics of your request, or to consider alternative options. You have the right to be accompanied at the meeting by a work colleague or a Union representative should you wish. 

Within 14 days of this meeting Personnel will write to you confirming either; 

• Agreement to the proposed work pattern or a compromise arrangement agreed at the meeting, or 

• Refusal of your request and informing you of your right to appeal. 

8 If a flexible working request is refused 

A request for a flexible working arrangement may be refused if one or more of the following apply; 

• Burden of additional costs 

• It is not possible to reorganise work amongst existing staff 

• It is not possible to recruit additional staff 

• The arrangement will cause a detrimental impact on quality or performance 

• There would be a lack of work during the periods of work you propose 

• There are plans within the Department / College to restructure 

Should you wish to appeal against a decision you should put your appeal in writing within 14 days to the Registrar. The Registrar will arrange an appeal hearing within the next 14 days which will be heard by the Director of Administration. You have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Union representative at the appeal hearing. 

Within 14 days of the appeal hearing the Registrar will write to you with the decision. 

For more information or to provide feedback please email 

[email protected]

This page was last updated on 

6 January 2021

This page is reviewed and updated every 12 months.

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