Flexible working is a program implemented by the U.K. Government that was designed to create more productive and family-friendly job environments. The idea provides employees the right to request a schedule that works for them, as opposed to the traditional route of working when the company says so.
The idea is part of the Children and Families Act that is striving to emphasize the importance of family and to try to help families spend more time together.
The program allows employees to request a flex schedule after 26 weeks of continuous work with a particular company. This means employers have the option of allowing workers to alter their schedules to accommodate their family and personal lives better.
How Does it Work?
If you are interested in requesting a flex schedule, you can submit an application to the owner or human resources department detailing your requested arrangements. The company then has 14-days to respond.
There are a variety of flexible working options to choose from, listed below:
Part-Time: This position would consist of less than full-time hours either on a daily or weekly basis. The specifics have to be included in the proposal that is then negotiated. For example; your application needs to include: 2-day work week, 3-hour work days
Job Sharing: This is as the name implies; two people, one job. The responsibilities of the position are shared by two people who also share the working hours.
Work From Home: Off-site working from a remote location, such as a home computer.
Staggered Hours: This flexible schedule consists of start and end times that vary. For instance, an employee may start at 11:00 AM, as opposed to the 8:00 AM start time of the other employees.
Compressed Hours: This involves working full-time hours in only few days.
What Are The Rights of the Employer?
The employer can refuse a flexible working schedule under a few conditions. Some of the conditions include; adverse financial impacts on the business, inability for the company to properly function for customers, or inability for the company to regain structure with the loss of consistent hours from an employee.
The law requires businesses to attempt to fully accommodate flexible working schedules and gives instances in which denials are acceptable. There are procedures to follow, and employees must adhere to the regulations when submitting an application.
What Are the Rights of an Employee?
After the employee writes the request for the flex schedule, it is required to receive a face-to-face meeting within 28 days and to come to a decision within 14-days of the meeting. If the company does not agree to the flex plan, the employee is allowed to appeal.
If the company agrees to the new schedule, a new contract is devised between the employer and worker. An employee is only entitled to apply and appeal once a year, in case of denial.
All in all, the program has many benefits for both employees and employers. Happy employees are more productive and loyal to companies. Businesses who recognize the need for more family togetherness are gaining more respect in their industries.
Unfortunately, there are exceptions to everything, and so it’s the same with this program. Some companies cannot offer the programs because of the need for specific plans to meet the needs of customers or because of the economic impact that could be detrimental to profit. For further information or to make an application visit the flexible working website.
Lucinda writes about issues that arise in business and aims to guide readers with the latest business news. She is passionate about blogging and finding managed print solutions for small businesses.