FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY Prepared by:
Responsible Area: Approval Information:
Human Resources/Organisational Development Date Approved: 2nd October 2006 COMMITTEE:Trust Board Approved By:
Version No. Approved: Review Date:
Reference to Standards for Better Health Domain Core/Development standard Performance indicators
Example : Department of Health 2004 Standards for Better Health First domain Safety Fourth domain Patient focused Seventh domain Public Health Department of Health 2004 Example: Core Standard C4 C13B C24 1. 2.
(Key measure(s) to demonstrate policy, protocol or guideline is working (minimum 1, maximum 3)
KIRKLEES PRIMARY CARE TRUST
Flexible Working Policy
FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY 1.
INTRODUCTION The purpose of this policy is to support staff to balance their home and work life commitments and thus assist the Kirklees Primary Care Trust (PCT) in its efforts to recruit and retain staff. The PCT understands that many staff have commitments outside of work and continually seeks to provide a supportive environment that allows staff to achieve a healthy work/life balance which is consistent with the principles of Improving Working Lives (IWL). The PCT will consider requests for flexible working arrangements from any staff with dependent responsibilities.
BACKGROUND AND INFORMATION Currently, many staff work flexibly and following the PCT’s IWL commitment for supporting staff, there will be further opportunities to introduce flexible work patterns which enable services to be maintained. Many staff working for the PCT currently have to balance their caring responsibilities with their work commitments and it is recognised that people’s personal circumstances will change during their working life. Examples of this will include the birth of a baby, a child starting school, looking after elderly relatives, illness of partners and approach of retirement. A variety of flexible working patterns/options may therefore be considered to support staff in achieving a better work/life balance including:
Job share Career breaks Part-time work Annualised hours School time contracts Home working Flexi time Shift working Flexible rostering Teleworking Voluntary reduced working time Fixed work patterns
There may be other examples of how flexible working patterns may be applied therefore staff should discuss their ideas with their Manager who will attempt where possible to accommodate such requests.
KIRKLEES PRIMARY CARE TRUSTs
Flexible Working Procedure and Guidelines
PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES FOR DEALING WITH FLEXIBLE WORKING REQUEST 1.
RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN REQUESTING FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS This procedure gives information about how to apply for and consider applications for flexible working which are described in the policy, and also gives details of how requests from staff will be handled including brief details about U.K. employment law which underpins these approaches. The Employment Act 2002, (effective from April 2003) is aimed at ensuring that there is more flexibility afforded to parents of children aged 6 or under (or 18 if the child is disabled) and who have 26 weeks continuous service. The PCT wishes to extend the provisions of this legislation to all staff with caring responsibilities, who wish to work flexibly. Staff applying for such changes should where ever possible briefly explain their carer responsibilities and how the changes proposed to working patterns will work including suggestions as to how the service will be covered/work reallocated although the final decision will rest with the manager. If staff have a number of possible options they should put these forward for consideration. Before agreeing to a request the manager should consider the impact the change will have on other staff in the team including an assessment of the how the work will be done. Managers should discuss the request with the member of staff making the request and if appropriate discuss this with any other staff who may be affected by the proposed changes. Managers need to advise the employee of their decision and subsequently confirm this in writing. It is possible that not all requests will be granted although every effort will be made to support staff. Managers need to be aware that there is a legal framework which must be followed in cases where the application is from a member of staff with caring responsibilities for children under age 6 or 18 if the child is disabled. Details given under paragraph 3 below provides more details.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 1. 2.
Pay and conditions need to be adjusted on a pro rata basis to reflect hours worked, and changes fully explained to the member of staff. Flexible arrangements will not be introduced which are to the detriment of colleagues therefore staff affected by the changes will be consulted when the proposals are initially made but the manager will be responsible for deciding taking account of service and all employeeâ€™s needs. All staff should be treated equally irrespective of their current work pattern. Where hours are reduced to ease staff into retirement, pensions advice will be available, on request by the employee, from the Pensions Manager at the local NHS Trust.
LEGAL POSITION: Staff/Managers should however note that the following legal position applies to the above staff* 1.
Staff to provide reasons in writing setting out the working hours, flexibility or pattern they want and how it could be made to work. The Manager should consider the service need when considering the request. If necessary, there should be a meeting within four weeks of the request to discuss the issues for the service and any compromises required. Employees have the right to be accompanied at this meeting, if they choose. Within two weeks of the meeting the Manager should write either accepting and setting out anything that needs to be done to accommodate the request and confirm a start date, or confirm any compromise agreed (example trial period) and set a date for a decision concerning the trial period. If rejecting a request, the Manager must give a short explanation setting out the service reasons and confirm this decision in writing setting out the reasons and advising that there is the right of appeal if needed, to the next in line Manager and any appeal should be sent within two weeks of the letter. If the request is rejected the member of staff will not be able to put forward another request for flexible working for one year unless there are significant changes to the personâ€™s circumstances. Potential fair reasons for rejecting an application include burden of extra costs, detrimental impact on the service, quality or performance issues, inability to reorganise or re-distribute work and in-ability to recruit extra staff. However ever effort should be made to accommodate requests based on the circumstances at the time.
If the member of staff appeals, the appeal will be heard at a further meeting where the employee will have the right to be accompanied. There will be no further right of appeal although Manager should note that staff have the statutory right to appeal to an Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal will look to confirm that Managers have followed the procedure described here. Compensation or a re-direction order may follow if the PCT breaches its procedure or factual errors concerning the application are discovered.
REVIEW OF PROCEDURE This procedure will be reviewed within 3 years of implementation.