Flexible working guidance for recruiting-managers

Prior to advertising a role, you should consider its suitability for flexibility in particular, the following working arrangements:

  • flexitime
  • annualised hours
  • part-time working
  • teaching restrictions
  • compressed hours
  • homeworking
  • job sharing

If you think the role is particularly suitable for any of these working arrangements, you are encouraged to reference this in the job advertisement as this can encourage a wider range of applicants.

Candidates interested in working flexibly are encouraged to contact the person named in the advertisement prior to applying to discuss the role and feasibility of different working arrangements. At this stage you should not discourage an application but be honest about any issues that may need to be addressed.

At the job offer stage, candidates are advised to discuss their requirements for working arrangements prior to accepting the offer. You should consider their request in the same way you would consider a request from an existing employee and be mindful of the following points:

  • A meeting with the candidate will not usually be necessary but you should make sure you fully understand their request for flexible working arrangements.
  • You should be mindful of the applicant’s confidentiality when discussing their request since no offer has been accepted but you may discuss the nature of the request with existing team members and your line manager to explore the potential impact on the team and the feasibility of the request.

Your decision could be to accept, partially accept or refuse the requested arrangements. Where possible, you are advised to make a decision within 7 days of the request to avoid delay to the recruitment process.

Accepted or partially accepted arrangements should be subject to review (as with existing employees) and details included in the offer letter. The offer letter should be clear that any flexible arrangements relate to the particular role and would not necessarily remain in place should the employee change roles within the University.

There is no obligation to accept the request but a refusal of a request must be clearly linked to one or more of the accepted ‘Business grounds for refusing a request’ and guidance for this can be found in the managers guide to considering a flexible working request.