The University recognises the benefit which flexible working arrangements can contribute to achieving its corporate aims, particularly with respect to recruitment and retention, equality and diversity, service delivery, space utilisation and sustainability, and to developing a working environment which is more family friendly and contributes to employee wellbeing.
The University also recognises that the introduction of more flexible working arrangements is subject to the overriding requirements of Colleges and Professional Services to deliver services effectively and on time through the cost effective deployment of staff. Within this context, Colleges and Services are encouraged to develop and introduce arrangements for flexible working which meet the specific operational requirements of each College/Service (recognising differences between teams and individual roles) subject to the following university-wide principles.
Professional Services staff should see the Flexitime scheme page for specific guidance.
Arrangements for flexible working:
1. are intended to give employees more choice over their working hours, not complete choice, subject to the overriding requirements of the University to deliver services effectively and on time through the cost effective deployment of staff.
2. should be based on an assessment of the impact upon services and managers and confirms that the new arrangements will not be detrimental to the standards or hours of service (and, ideally, should enhance the service).
3. should be determined on the basis of roles/responsibilities, not grade.
4. should be introduced following consultation with staff and their managers and with the approval of Human Resources.
5. should only be introduced in a College/Service where senior management is satisfied that managers within that College/Service have the necessary competence (supported by training programmes, where appropriate) to manage issues of staff attendance and performance within a flexible working environment.
6. should be based upon consensus and the cooperation of staff.
7. are a privilege not a “right” and may be withdrawn or amended eg. if there is a change in the nature or delivery of the service or if the privilege is abused or service standards fall as a result.
8. should have clearly defined written rules relating to (among other things):
- the right of the University, with reasonable notification, to require attendance at any time during its “opening hours” (ie the outer hours of the bandwidth) – particularly for attendance at meetings and training events and to meet specific operational requirements
- “core hours” when attendance is required
- “bandwidth” (ie earliest and latest times between which hours can be worked)
- lunch breaks
- method of recording
- period in which accrued time/deficit time must be balanced
- use of accrued time (eg “flexi-leave”)
- how travelling to off-campus meetings is to be recorded (eg a standard 7.3 hours)
- the consequences of abuse of the system by an individual member of staff (ie that this may lead to disciplinary action including dismissal)
9. include an expectation that routine medical appointments will be taken in the employee’s own time, ie where possible outside of “core hours”, unless otherwise agreed by the employee’s manager. (See section 10 of the Managing Absence Code of Practice.)
10. will be monitored by Human Resources and trade union representatives to ensure consistency, other things being equal, across the University.