What is flexible working?
Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs. People want to work flexibly because they are either working parents, grandparents or caring for elderly relative(s) or both, or want flexibility for personal interests e.g. for hobbies or preparing for retirement. Flexible working requests can cover the number of hours worked, the times at which hours are worked and home-working. Where operational need allows requests to be granted it is a means of helping staff to balance work with other personal interests or commitments and enabling the School to get the best out of its staff.
What is the current legislation?
The Children and Families Act 2014 removed the requirement that an employee must have parental or caring responsibility in order to make a request to their employer to change their terms and conditions with respect to hours and location of work. All employees have the statutory right with effect from the 30th June 2014 to ask to work flexibly after twenty-six weeks’ employment service. The statutory request can be made once in any 12 month period. The ACAS Code of Practice ‘Handing in a reasonable manner requests to work flexibly’ is designed to help employers deal with written requests made by employees’ http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/f/e/Code-of-Practice-on-handling-in-a-reasonable-manner-requests-to-work-flexibly.pdf.
Why work flexibly?
There are clear, positive links between flexible working and work-life balance, family lives and resilience. Flexible working arrangements increase work-to-personal life enrichment and vice versa, which in turn is linked to greater job satisfaction and retention.
Who can apply to work flexibly?
All staff are able to apply for flexible working on a permanent or temporary basis. Some types of flexible working will not be suitable for all roles across the School. Staff applying and managers will need to consider the business case and impact on colleagues and the service when considering request.
The School’s commitment to establishing working arrangements whereby employees feel they are able to maintain an appropriate work – life balance is set out in the Employee Wellbeing Policy.
How to work flexibly
A key component to the success of flexible working is the ability to communicate effectively with those at work and at home. Ensuring that home and work dynamics are considered when flexible working patterns are created is important.
Flexible working patterns may mean that there will be less 'face time' with colleagues. To respond to this, more focus should be given to creating and maintaining effective relationships within the direct working team and elsewhere.
Recognition from Working Families
In recognition of the School’s commitment to support and enable employees to effectively combine family life and work, it has been awarded certification from Top Employers for Working Families.
In 2014 the School won the Cityfathers Best for All Stages of Fatherhood Award. It was also commended for the DTCC Best for Innovation Award and was a Finalist or the Centrica and Carers UK Best for Carers and Eldercare Award. This is the fifth year the School has been recognised for its family friendly policies by Top Employers for Working Families. The Top Employers for Working Families Benchmark and Awards, founded by Working Families in partnership with the Institute for Employment Studies, recognise employers who have a long track record in family friendly and flexible working that continue to adjust and refine policies in response to employee and business needs.
In order to be recognised as a Top Employer, organisations had to demonstrate that they offer flexible working because they understand that there needs to be close alignment between how the organisation operates and the way that employees want to live in order to achieve mutual success, in terms of performance, wellbeing and work-life fit.