Flexible Working Policy

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1 Flexible Working Policy Document Control Title : Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) Applicable to : All Staff Date last reviewed : October 2018 Procedure Owner : Operations Manager Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

2 Contents 1. Purpose 3 2. Scope 3 3. Details of flexibility offered to all departments 3 4. Timescales 4 5. Working from home 4 6. Flexible working hours 4 7. Flexible working hours for commercial and reception services 4 8. Forms of statutory flexible working 4 9. Eligibility How to make a statutory request Discussion and consideration Request accepted / accepted with modifications Request not accepted Appeal Timescales Failure to attend meetings Informal or short term flexible working requests Monitoring and Review 9 Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

3 1. Purpose 1.1 DSU is committed to providing equality of opportunity in employment and developing work practices and policies that support work-life balance. In addition DSU recognises that there are potential benefits to a system of day to day flexible working for both staff members and the organisation, and this policy has been developed to contribute to that. 1.2 Occasionally, the need for the organisation to deliver an effective service to its members and the desire for staff to exercise flexibility may create a conflict. In these circumstances, line managers have been instructed to prioritise the delivery of an effective service to members. 1.3 This policy is intended to facilitate flexibility within a five day working week. It is not intended to facilitate routine accumulation of lieu hours in order to take flexi-days. 1.4 This policy allows eligible employees an opportunity to request a change to their working pattern in accordance with the statutory right to request flexible working. There is no guarantee that requests will be approved, each case will be decided on an individual basis and will not lead to precedents being set. 2. Scope 2.1 This policy applies to all employees. It does not apply to Executive Officers, agency workers, consultants or any self-employed contracts. 2.2 Sections 3 7 of this policy do not form part of any employee s contract of employment and they may be amended at any time. 3. Details of flexibility offered to all departments 3.1 DSU operates a timesheet system and all staff are required to maintain these. These are designed to log hours worked, statutory holiday days, annual leave, sickness / absence or time owed in lieu (TOIL). 3.2 Line Managers should request timesheets from their staff on a monthly basis to monitor hours worked. This applies to all full time, part time and annualised hour staff. 3.3 Line Managers should ensure that timesheets, annual leave and toil are regularly reviewed during their supervision meetings. 3.4 DSU takes pride in empowering its staff and allowing them to manage their working day accordingly. It is therefore not expected that staff should seek advance approval for small amounts of additional time worked in a normal working day / week however it is advisable to liaise with your line manager where this may be the case. Staff members seek prior approval from their immediate manager if they are expecting to work between more than 2 hours outside of their contracted weekly hours. 3.5 Additionally, staff members that need to work additional half or full days to complete their work within a working week must seek prior approval from their line manager. 3.6 Where prior approval has not been sought, staff will not be permitted to claim back those hours. Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

4 4. Timescales 4.1 Staff are permitted to take any authorised time they have accrued within the term in which they have accrued it. The timing of this is always subject to line manager approval to ensure services remain operational. It is encouraged that staff add this to any upcoming statutory leave i.e. Christmas or Easter vacation where possible. 5. Working from Home 5.1 DSU recognises that working from home may facilitate more efficient working practices where staff are committed to a particular piece of work or project. All staff are eligible to request to work from home which is subject to line manager approval. Remote access to documents should be arranged in advance. There is no guarantee that requests will be approved, each case will be decided on an individual basis and will not lead to precedents being set. 6. Flexible Working Hours 6.1 The following flexible system applies to all staff with the exception of those staff working in commercial or reception areas or where there is a clear business need to work outside of these hours:- Start Time 7:30am 9:30am (unless previously agreed with Line Manager or the need of the business means working outside of these times) Core Business Hours 9:30am 3:30pm (all staff must be present during these hours unless previously agreed with Line Manager or the need of the business means working outside of these times) Finish Time 3:30pm 6:00pm (staff should not be staying past this time unless previously agreed with Line Manager or the need of the business means working outside of these times) Staff would still be expected to work their contracted hours within these parameters. 7. Flexible Working for Hours for Commercial and Reception Services 7.1 Due to the nature of these services, working hours are agreed at departmental level through each staff member s contract of employment. Flexible working policies do not apply in these areas however it is the view that managers will consider implementing flexible working, where possible, when requested by a staff member. 8. Forms of statutory flexible working 8.1 Flexible working can incorporate a number of possible changes to working arrangement, such as the following:- A change to the number of hours the employee works A request for a change to the pattern of hours worked Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

5 A request to perform some or all of the work from the employee's home. 9. Eligibility 9.1 The Flexible Working Regulations 2014 grants employees who have a minimum of 26 weeks' continuous service at the date the request is made and who have not made a statutory request to work flexibly during the last twelve months the right to request flexible working and to have their request considered seriously by DSU. 9.2 Employees who do not meet the eligibility criteria to make a statutory request may still make an informal request to their Line Manager who will consider the request taking into account business and operational needs. Where this is the case, the CEO will always be required to take final approval. 10. How to make a statutory request 10.1 DSU would encourage all employees who wish to make a request for flexible working to initially discuss this informally with their line manager in the first instance. This may be to discuss eligibility, the different options that may be available and the effect the proposal may have on colleagues or service delivery If you wish to make a request for flexible working, you must then do so in writing and your written request should include the following information:- The date of your application Outline the reasons for your request which may include relevance to the Union s equal opportunities policy, for example, if the reason for your request is as a result of a disability or family commitments The change to working conditions you are seeking and when you would like the change to come into effect What effect, if any, you think the requested change would have on the organisation (i.e. service delivery or colleagues) and how, in your opinion, any such effect may be dealt with by DSU. A statement to confirm that this is a statutory request and if and when you have made a previous application for flexible working Your written request should be dated and sent to your Line Manager and ideally you should submit your request in good time. A recommended time scale is at least two months before you wish the changes to come into effect It may be that your Line Manager is able to agree your request without the need for a meeting, in which case they will write to you confirming the decision If your request requires further consideration or if it cannot be accommodated as it stands, a discussion between you and your line manager may result in an alternative working pattern that can assist you. 11. Discussion and Consideration Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

6 11.1 Your Line Manager will arrange to meet with you to discuss your request. A meeting may not always be required if your manager intends to accept your request The meeting will be used to consider the working arrangements you have requested and to discuss in more detail what you have outlined under 5.2 above. If the arrangements you have requested cannot be accommodated, discussion at the meeting also provides an opportunity to explore possible alternative working arrangements DSU will consider the request carefully looking at the benefits of the requested changes and the impact on the organisation Your Line Manager may suggest starting any new working arrangements under an initial trial period to ensure that they meet your need and those of the Students Union. Where that is the case, this must be adhered to Following the meeting (if applicable), your Line Manager will then discuss this with the relevant member of the Senior Management Team, Operations Manager and the CEO. 12. Request accepted / accepted with modifications 12.1 If your request is accepted, or it is accepted with modifications agreed as part of a discussion with you, you will receive a letter with details of the new working arrangements, details of any trial periods, an explanation of changes to your contract of employment (if any) and the date on which they will commence. If there are any changes to your contract of employment i.e. changes to hours, salary or annual leave for example, a new contract will be issued to you Unless otherwise agreed and subject to any agreed trial period, changes to your terms of employment will be permanent. You will not be able to make another statutory request until twelve months after the date of your most recent request. 13. Request not accepted 13.1 There will be circumstances where, due to business and operational requirements, your manager is unable to agree to your request. In these circumstances, your Line Manager will write to you:- To provide you the business reason(s) for turning down your request, and To set out how you can appeal the decision 13.2 The eight business reasons for which your request may be rejected, as guided by ACAS, are:- The burden of additional costs An inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff An inability to recruit additional staff A detrimental impact on quality A detrimental impact on performance A detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand Insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work A planned structural change to the business Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

7 14. Appeal 14.1 If your request is rejected, you may appeal the decision. You will need to write to the person specified in your decision letter (this will usually be a member of SMT or the CEO) setting out the reasons for appealing the decision. The letter must:- Be in writing and dated Set out the grounds on which you are appealing, and Be sent to the specified person within seven working days of the date on which you received the written decision An appeal might be raised on the following grounds (these are examples only):- The manager s view in rejecting the request was based on incorrect facts New information has come to light which was not known at the time of your request and which, had it been considered at the time, might have resulted in a different decision being reached There was an omission in following a reasonable procedure when considering your request Where necessary, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your appeal. If a meeting is required you may bring a work colleague (who may also be a Trade Union Representative) to the meeting as a companion if you wish You will be informed of the final decision following this meeting as soon as possible after the meeting. You will be kept informed of any delays. The outcome of the appeal will be one of the following:- Request accepted / accepted with modifications, or Request not accepted 14.5 The outcome of the appeal is final. 15. Timescales 15.1 Statutory flexible working requests will be considered within an overall period of three months from the date of receipt of the written request. This includes any final decision following an appeal If your Line Manager needs more time to consider your request, they may ask for your agreement to extend the decision period. A request for an extension may be of benefit, for example, your manager may need more time to investigate how your request can be accommodated or to consult other members of staff. Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

8 16. Failure to attend meetings 16.1 In certain circumstances, a statutory request will be treated as withdrawn if you fail to attend a meeting and a re-arranged meeting to discuss your request without good cause. In such circumstances, your manager will write to you confirming that the request has been treated as withdrawn This will also apply where you have appealed the decision and fail to attend an appeal meeting and a re-arranged appeal meeting without good cause. 17. Informal or short term flexible working requests 17.1 General requests Employees who wish to make an informal request for flexible working, or who are seeking short term flexibility to help them manage a short term need (eg to cope with a bereavement or for a short course of study), may make a request to their manager who will consider it taking into account the needs of the employee and the Union It will help your manager to consider your request if you:- Make your request in writing and confirm whether you wish any change to your current working pattern to be temporary or permanent Provide as much information as you can about your current and desired working pattern, including working days, hours and start and finish times, and give the date from which you want your desired working pattern to start Think about what effect the changes to your working pattern will have on the work that you do and on your colleagues, as well as on service delivery. If you have any suggestions about dealing with any potentially negative effects, please include these in your written application Your manager will advise you what steps will be taken to consider your request, which may include inviting you to attend a meeting, before advising you of the outcome of your request Adverse Weather It is appreciated that there may be operational and service delivery considerations in working during periods of adverse weather. Managers are expected to ensure that employees are treated in an equitable and consistent manner and that the safety of employees is not compromised in any way Managers also need to consider individual requests from people with a disability and/or caring responsibilities that may present additional barriers to attendance at work in bad weather conditions If there are no specific local instructions, then employees should report that they are unable to attend for work before their expected start time. Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October

9 The manager should consider the following options and agree with the employee that either: Working from home - Line Managers may agree that an employee can work from home. This would be on the understanding that the employee can perform duties that are relevant to their normal workload and grade. This must be the subject of prior agreement (either general or specific) with the employee s line manager. The work to be undertaken at home must be agreed with the line manager and be the subject of normal managerial procedures on return to work To take the day/s as annual leave To take the day/s as lieu time To work the appropriate extra hours unpaid To take unpaid leave A combination of the above Where the line manager is satisfied that an employee has genuinely been prevented from attending work by his/her normal starting time, as a result of adverse weather, any lateness will not be penalised in terms of sanctions under any of the Union s policies. Any loss of time should be managed by giving consideration to use of the appropriate options detailed above Line managers will be responsible for deciding whether any request to leave early as a result of adverse weather is warranted, bearing in mind all available information including the infrastructure, home address and mode of transport of the employee concerned. In circumstances where the Line Manager is satisfied that early release is justified, the loss of time will be managed by giving consideration to use of the appropriate options detailed above 18. Monitoring and Review 18.1 Application of the policy will be monitored by the Operations Manager and reviewed periodically. Flexible Working Policy (Statutory) DSU Limited Last Updated October