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 and Working Mums
The School has received external recognition and awards, from leading work-life balance organisations Working Families and Working Mums for its ongoing commitment to support and enable employees to effectively combine family life and work.