Retirement policy Working from home policy Governance and Assurance Committee Date of ratification: 28 April years from date of ratification

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1 Title: Document author: Document type: Online Location: Approved by: Can this document be published to the internet? (publicly available) Brief summary of document This document replaces Approved Equality Impact Assessment attached Cross referenced to: Flexible Working Policy & Procedure Human Resources Manager Policy & Procedure Employee-zone/document browser Joint Partnership Committee Yes Policy and procedure for making and managing requests for flexible working. Flexible Working (Working Parents and Carers) Policy Please go to the HR page on Employee Zone of NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group website Grievance policy Retirement policy Working from home policy Governance and Assurance Committee Ratified by: Date of ratification: 28 April 2015 Review date: 3 years from date of ratification Contents: Section Process Page 1 Aim 2 2 Introduction 2 3 Scope 2 4 Policy statement 2 5 Procedure: Request for flexible working Meeting to discuss a flexible working request Outcome of a flexible working request Reasons for turning down a flexible working request Flexible working requests that are granted Timescales Problems with a flexible working request and appeals 7 6 Responsibilities NHS Kernow s Commissioning responsibilities 8 7 Monitoring and review arrangements 8 8 Fraud awareness 9 APPENDIX Application form 1

2 1. Aim: To communicate NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group s (NHS Kernow) position on flexible working for requests made on or after 30 June To adhere to the principles of the ACAS code of practice ( 2. Introduction: NHS Kernow believes that flexible working can increase employee motivation, promote work-life balance, reduce employee stress and improve performance and productivity. From 30 June 2014, all employees who have a minimum of 26 weeks' continuous service have the right to request flexible working and to have their request considered. NHS Kernow will consider all requests in line with the resources required to meet its Key Performance Targets. 3. Scope: This policy and procedure applies to all employees, regardless of their contract type (e.g. substantive, fixed term, and those returning from flexible retirement). 4. Policy Statement: 4.1 NHS Kernow recognises the importance of helping its employees balance their work and home life while ensuring staffing levels at all times remain in line with the demands of the business. 4.2 The policy statement considers the following options, but NHS Kernow recognises that there may be alternatives, and that the working pattern that may suit any particular individual could be a unique one involving a combination of options: part-time working, where a person works to a pattern and number of hours by mutual agreement job sharing, where two or more people share the responsibilities of one or more fulltime job(s), dividing the hours, duties and pay between them flexi-time, where employees can choose their own start and finish time around fixed core hours annual hours contracts, where people work a specific number of hours each year, with the hours being unevenly distributed throughout the year flexible rostering, using periods of work of differing lengths within an agreed overall 2

3 period term-time working, where people work during the school term but not during school holidays tele-working, where people work from home for all or part of their hours with a computer or telecommunication link to their organisation (see working from home policy) voluntary reduced working time, where people work reduced hours by agreement at a reduced salary fixed work patterns where, by agreement, days off can be irregular to enable, for example, separated parents to have access to their children and flexible rostering flexible retirement (i.e. not a standard retirement); including step down, wind down and retire and return 4.3 The business need: Although the organisation is committed to providing the widest possible range of working patterns for its workforce, both management and employees need to be realistic and recognise that the full range of flexible working options will not be appropriate for all jobs across all areas of the business. Where an instance of flexible working is proposed NHS Kernow will need to take into account a number of criteria including (but not limited to) the following: the cost of the proposed arrangement; the effect of the proposed arrangement on other employees; the level of supervision that the post-holder requires; the structure of the department and employee resources; other issues specific to the individual's department, such as the implications of the proposed arrangements on service/team performance targets; an analysis of the tasks specific to the role, including their frequency and duration; an analysis of the workload of the role; an analysis of how available hours due to any proposed reduction in hours may be utilised. 4.4 Eligibility: Although it is recognised that not all of the flexible working patterns considered will be suitable for all sections of NHS Kernow's workforce, there should be no arbitrary barriers. 3

4 Employees in all areas and levels of the organisation will be considered for flexible working regardless of their age, sex, sexual orientation, race, or religion or belief, or whether they have a disability, their level of seniority, their current working pattern, or whether they are employed on a permanent or fixed-term basis. However, there is no automatic right for employees to change to any of the flexible working patterns - each application will be considered on the basis of the particular work involved and any detrimental effect the change could have on individual, team or organisational performance Right to request flexible working: The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives employees with 26 weeks' continuous service the right to request a change to the number of hours that they work, the times that they work or their place of work. While it is the NHS Kernow s policy to be flexible on working patterns for all its employees, in order to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations concerning the right to request flexible working, there may be situations where precedence has to be given to those who are eligible for this right (i.e. those with 26 weeks continuous service) Returning after maternity leave on flexible working arrangements: If, at the end of maternity leave, the employee wishes to return to work on different hours, the NHS employer has a duty to facilitate this, wherever possible. The employee will return to work on different hours, in the same job. If this is not possible, the employer must provide written, objectively justifiable reasons for this and the employee should return to the same pay band and work of a similar nature and status, to that which they held prior to their maternity absence. If it is agreed that the employee will return to work on a flexible basis, including changed or reduced hours, for an agreed temporary period, this will not affect the employee s right to return to her job under her original contract, at the end of the agreed period Breastfeeding: Managers should consider requests for flexible working arrangements to support breastfeeding women at work Reasonable Adjustments: Managers are required to consider flexible working options as part of their duty to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities, employees with dependants and job applications under the Equality Act and employees returning from maternity leave. 4

5 5. Procedure: 5.1 Requests for flexible working: A request for flexible working could include a request for a change to the number of hours that the employee works, a request for a change to the pattern of hours worked, a request to job share, a request to retire flexibly or a request to perform some or all of the work from the employee's home. All requests must be made in writing (an application form can be found in Appendix 1 and on the staff-zone). Any request made under this policy must include: the date of the application; the changes that the employee is seeking to his/her terms and conditions; the date on which the employee would like the terms and conditions to come into effect; what effect the employee thinks the requested change would have on the organisation; how, in his/her opinion, any such effect might be dealt with; a statement that this is a statutory request; whether or not the employee has made a previous application for flexible working; and if the employee has made a previous request, when the employee made that application. Where the request is being made by a person with a disability as part of a request for a reasonable adjustment to his/her working arrangements, the employee should state this in the written application. 5.2 Meeting to discuss a flexible working request: Once the line manager receives the request, it will be dealt with as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline set out below. The line manager will usually arrange a meeting to deal with the request. Where a request can without further discussion be approved in the terms stated in the employee's written application, a meeting will not be necessary. An employee should be given the right to be accompanied by a work colleague at any flexible working meeting. The meeting should take place in a private meeting room. The aim of the meeting is to find out more about the proposed working arrangements and how they could be of benefit to both the employee and NHS Kernow. 5.3 Outcome of a flexible working request: After the meeting, the line manager will consider the proposed flexible working arrangements carefully, weighing up the potential benefits to the employee and to NHS Kernow against any adverse impact of implementing the changes. Each request will be 5

6 considered on a case-by-case basis: agreeing to one request will not set a precedent or create the right for another employee to be granted a similar change to his/her working pattern. The employee will be informed in writing of the decision as soon as is reasonably practicable after the meeting, but no later than the deadline set out below. The request may be granted in full or in part: for example, NHS Kernow may propose a modified version of the request, the request may be granted on a temporary basis, or the employee may be asked to try the flexible working arrangement for a trial period. The employee will be given the right to appeal the decision if the employee's request is not upheld or is upheld in part. 5.4 Reasons for turning down a flexible working request: The line manager will give reasons for the rejection of any request. Those reasons must be for one or more prescribed business reasons, which are: the burden of additional costs; an inability to reorganise work among existing employee; an inability to recruit additional employee; 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; and a planned structural change to the business. The line manager must not reject a request for any other reason. 5.5 Flexible working requests that are granted: If the request is upheld, the employee and the line manager will discuss how and when the changes will take effect. Any changes to terms and conditions will be put in writing and sent to the employee along with a contract amendment form (CAF) as soon as is reasonably practicable. The remainder of the contract stays the same, as does the Job Description/Person specification. Once a flexible working request has been granted, it constitutes a permanent change, unless agreed otherwise or in a trial stage. 5.6 Timescales: All requests will be dealt with within a period of three months from first receipt to notification of the decision on appeal. The line manager should hold the meeting within 28 days of receiving the request and notify the decision to the employee within 14 days of the meeting, so that there is enough time for any appeal to be concluded. The employee will be informed of the outcome of his/her appeal within 14 days of the appeal meeting. These time limits may be extended where both the employee and employer are in agreement. For example, 6

7 the relevant manager and the employee may agree to extend the time limit to give the employee a trial period on the flexible working arrangements. This will be confirmed in writing with a copy placed on the p-file. 5.7 Problems with a flexible working request and appeals: If an employee is dissatisfied or unclear at any stage throughout the process, he/she should speak to their manager or contact the HR team. If an employee is dissatisfied with the way in which his/her request has been handled, he/she should arrange an informal discussion with the relevant line manager in the first instance and in the event that this does not resolve the matter, he/she may follow the steps described in the grievance procedure. Employees who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their request are allowed to lodge an appeal within 14 days of the notification, with the appeal to be heard within 14 days. The scheduling of an initial informal discussion with the manager does not affect the 14 day deadline for lodging an appeal. An appeal panel hearing an appeal against the refusal of a flexible working request will only be able to determine whether the request should be reviewed. The appeal panel will not have the ability to overturn the decision. If an employee fails to attend a meeting, including an appeal meeting, and then fails to attend a rearranged meeting without good reason, his/her application will be deemed to have been withdrawn. 6 Responsibilities: 6.1 Board Members/Senior Managers: To recognise the benefits of allowing employees to balance their work and home life, where possible and in line with the needs of the organisation Managers: To consider each application on a case by case basis To not reject out of hand a request that does not contain the required information, but rather explain to the employee what additional or amended information he/she needs to provide and ask the employee to resubmit the request To have regard to equal opportunities when considering requests To produce a contract amendment form (CAF) to detail any agreed contractual changes To record applications and outcomes formally in writing on the p-file To seek advice from the Human Resources Team about the implications of certain working arrangements. 7

8 6.1.2 Human Resources: To provide advice about the process To provide advice about the implications of certain working arrangements To support formal meetings where required Individual Employee: To complete their application as fully as possible, including all information as set out in 5.1 To consider the implications of their request, including the impact on their team To attend any meetings arranged to discuss their application unless there is a good reason for being unable to attend 6.2 NHS Kernow s Commissioning Responsibilities: In addition to directly employed employee, it is NHS Kernow s responsibility to ensure that commissioned and independent contractors have arrangements in place to respond to requests for flexible working in line with legislation. This requirement forms part of NHS Kernow s quality schedule, which is included within each of NHS Kernow s key contacts and Service Level Agreements. Contract monitoring and quality assurance processes will confirm that the individual independently contracted practices have arrangements in place to deal with requests for flexible working in line with legislation. The frequency of contract monitoring is recommended as monthly, in the Department of Health contract guidance. 7 Monitoring and Review Arrangements: Applications and outcomes should be monitored annually, in partnership with local employee representatives. Monitoring information should be analysed and used to review and revise policies and procedures to ensure their continuing effectiveness. Applications and outcomes, from both employer and employees, should be recorded and kept for a minimum of one year. 8. Fraud awareness Fraud within NHS Kernow is unacceptable and diverts valuable resources away from patient care. Any concerns over deliberate misapplication of the flexible options outlined in this policy and procedure must be referred to the Local Counter Fraud Specialist in accordance with the Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy. 8

9 APPENDIX 1 The right to request flexible working Form FW(A): Flexible working application form Note to the employee You can use this form to make an application to work flexibly under the right provided in law to eligible employees. Before completing this form, read the guidance on the right to request flexible working on GOV.UK, and check that you are eligible to make a request. You should note that under the right it may take up to 3 months for your employer to consider a request and possibly longer where you have agreed to a longer decision period with your employer. You should therefore ensure that you submit your application to the appropriate person well in advance of the date you wish the request to take effect. It will help your employer to consider your request if you provide as much information as you can about your desired working pattern. It is important that you complete all the questions as otherwise your application may not be valid. When completing sections 3 and 4, think about what effect your change in working pattern will have both on the work that you do and on your colleagues. Once you have completed the form, you should immediately forward it to your employer (you might want to keep a copy for your own records). If the request is granted, this will be a permanent change to your terms and conditions unless otherwise agreed. Note to the employer This is a formal application made under the legal right to apply for flexible working and the duty on employers to consider applications in a reasonable manner. You have three months after the day you received this application in which to decide whether to grant the request. This period can be extended if you agree to a longer deadline with the employee; any such agreement must be made either within period in which the decision is to be made or in the three months immediately following the end of that deadline. You should confirm receipt of this application using the attached confirmation slip. Forms accompanying the guidance have been provided for you to respond to this application /nhskernow Chair: Dr Colin Philip Managing Director: Joy Youart Head office: Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5AS

10 1. Personal Details Name: Manager: Staff or payroll number: National Insurance No: To the employer I would like to apply to work a flexible working pattern that is different to my current working pattern under my right provided under section 80F of the Employment Rights Act I confirm I meet each of the eligibility criteria as follows: I have worked continuously as an employee of the company for the last 26 weeks. I have not made a request to work flexibly under this right during the past 12 months. Date of any previous request to work flexibly under this right:.. If you are not sure whether you meet any of the criteria, information can be found on Gov.UK. If you are unable to tick all of the relevant boxes then you do not qualify to make a request to work flexibly under the statutory procedure. This does not mean that your request may not be considered, but you will have to explore this separately with your employer. Many employers offer flexible working to their staff as best practice. 2a. Describe your current working pattern (days/hours/times worked): 2b. Describe the working pattern you would like to work in future (days/hours/times worked): 2c. I would like this working pattern to commence from: Date: Page 10

11 3. Impact of the new working pattern I think this change in my working pattern will affect my employer and colleagues as follows: 4. Accommodating the new working pattern I think the effect on my employer and colleagues can be dealt with as follows: Name: Date: NOW PASS THIS APPLICATION TO YOUR MANAGER Cut this slip off and return it to your employee in order to confirm your receipt of their application Employer s Confirmation of Receipt (to be completed and returned to employee) Dear: I confirm that I received your request to change your work pattern on: Date: I shall notify you of my decision on this application within three months of this date, unless we agree a longer deadline for this decision. From: Page 11

12 APPENDIX 1 TO BE COMPLETED AT THE PLANNING AND SCOPING STATGES OF THE INITIATIVE Appendix Two Equality Impact Assessment Proforma Initial Screening Section Officer responsible for the assessment Jayne Marsh Name of Policy to be assessed Flexible working policy and procedure Date of Assessment 9 April 2015 Is this a new or existing policy? New - replacement 1. Briefly describe the aims, objectives and purpose of the policy. 2. Are there any associated objectives of the policy? Please explain. 3. Who is intended to benefit from this policy, and in what way? To communicate NHS Kernow s position on flexible working for requests made on or after 30 June 2014 when legislation changed. To set out the procedure to follow and the fair reasons to decline an application. To support compliance with legislation. To support healthy workplace initiatives/work-life balance. Employees will benefit from working patterns that help them to balance their work and home life along with any caring and parental responsibilities they may have. NHS Kernow will benefit from having a workforce with a good work-life balance, who are likely to perform better and be better engaged. 4. What outcomes are wanted from this policy? Legislative requirements are adhered to through increased understanding of the procedure for dealing with requests. Employees understand their right to request flexible working and how to make an application. 5. What factors/forces could contribute/detract from the outcomes? Requests can only be declined for set reasons. If decisions are made outside these fair reasons the outcomes may be compromised. The requests made by employees need to be in line with the needs of the organisation in order to be considered acceptable. 6. Who are the main stakeholders in relation to the policy? Employees (applicants for flexible working) and managers considering such applications. 7. Who implements the policy, and who is responsible for the policy? Team managers implement the policy. Human Resources are responsible /nhskernow Chair: Dr Colin Philip Managing Director: Joy Youart Head office: Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 5AS

13 8. What is the impact on people from Black and Minority Ethnic Groups (BME) (positive or negative)? for updating the policy. There is currently no information to indicate that this document will disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A 9. What is the impact for male or female people (positive or negative)? Positive: The legislation has increased the scope from employees with parental or caring responsibilities to all employees. Traditionally mother s returning to work following maternity made flexible working applications. However since the change in legislation more men may feel the policy is open to them. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A. 10. What is the impact on disabled people, including those with learning disabilities (positive or negative)? How will any negative impact be mitigated? Employees with a learning disability may have more difficulties understanding and completing the form. Line managers can provide support, and can also ask HR for support. The employee can apply in writing rather than use the set template form. 11. What is the impact on sexual orientation (lesbian, gay, bisexual)? There is currently no information to indicate that this document will disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A 12. What is the impact on people of different There is currently no information to indicate that this document will 13

14 ages (positive or negative)? disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A 13. What impact will there be due religion or belief (positive or negative)? There is currently no information to indicate that this document will disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A 14. What is the impact on marriage of civil partnership, this is particularly relevant for employment policies (positive or negative)? There is currently no information to indicate that this document will disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative be mitigated? N/A 15. What is the impact on people who have gone through or are going through gender reassignment, or who identify as transgender? There is currently no information to indicate that this document will disadvantage or have a negative impact on this group if implemented and operated as described within this Policy and Procedure. How will any negative impact be mitigated? N/A 16. What is the impact on people who are pregnant or breast feeding mothers? Positive: The policy directly refers to breastfeeding and the need to consider requests for flexible working arrangements to support breastfeeding women at work. How will any negative impact be mitigated? 14

15 N/A 17. How have the Core Human Rights Values of: Fairness; Respect; Equality; Dignity; Autonomy This policy and procedure is based on the principles of fairness and equality relating to the statutory right that applies to every employee to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service. Been considered in the formulation of this policy/strategy If they haven t please reconsider the document and amend to incorporate these values. 15

16 18. Which of the Human Rights Articles does this document impact? What evidence do you have for making these statements? 19. How will you ensure that those N/A responsible for implementing the Policy are aware of the Human Rights implications and equipped to deal with them? 20. If the negative impacts identified have N/A been unable to be mitigated through amendment to the policy, explain how you will conduct a full EIA 21. If the differential impacts identified are Explained above in each section. positive, explain how this policy is legitimate positive action and will improve outcomes, services or the working environment for that group of people. The right: Yes No To life; Not to be tortured or treated in an inhuman or degrading way; To be free from slavery or forced labour; To liberty and security; To a fair trial; To no punishment without law; To respect for home and family life, home and correspondence; To freedom of thought, conscience and religion; To freedom of expression; To freedom of assembly and association; To marry and found a family; Not to be discriminated against in relation to the enjoyment of any of the rights contained in the European Convention; To peaceful enjoyment of possessions and education; To free elections This policy and procedure is based on the principles of fairness and equality relating to the statutory right that applies to every employee to request flexible working after 26 weeks employment service. 16

17 22. If you do not need to proceed to a full EIA explain what amendments have been made to the policy as a result of this screening, and when they were made. Signed (completing officer) Jayne Marsh.. Date 9 April 2015 Signed (Head of Section) Emma Goudge Date 9 April 2015 Please ensure that a signed copy of this form is sent to both the Policies Officer and the Equality and Diversity lead to be placed on the website 17