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A flexible approach to work is essential in a modern Civil Service


									Work Life Balance – A Managers‟ Guide
? 1. MANAGERS are
unclear about the responsibility they bear for balancing employees’ work and home lives. ? 2. MANAGERS feel that encouraging the take-up of work life balance options by both full-time staff (working flexibly) and part-time staff can exacerbate existing difficulties with excessive workloads, competing pressures and limited resources.

“Are employees’ domestic circumstances the responsibility of their employer? Is it my responsibility how they keep it all on track or not?”

“Two of my team have each reduced their hours by 10%. This has stretched us even further than we were, which was no joke. Should anyone else want to do the same we would really struggle, me in particular”.


3. MANAGERS are unsure about how to implement the overall work life balance policy.

4. MANAGERS’ own bosses are, in practice, unsupportive, and…”


“I worry about being accused of being unfair or discriminatory. The policy has only increased the pressure to be transparent and consistent but that’s difficult when individuals’ circumstances are so different.

“…pay lip service to the work life balance principle, but that’s where their support starts and ends”


Work Life Balance – A Managers’ Guide
Contents Introduction Flexible Working: The right to apply A basic summary Background Work Life Balance: Guiding Principles Assessing a request for flexible working arrangements Developing successful self-managed teams Bringing on talent Annex A Useful Hints and Tips for managers new to flexible working Annex B A practical guide to job-sharing from the FCO –
(Although meant for FCO staff, it is an example of how one department is managing staff who work flexibly)

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Work Life Balance – A Managers’ Guide
Introduction This guide has been produced to assist managers to effectively manage, develop and support flexible workers. It is very much a work in progress and we would very much welcome any additional comments. We have sought to bring together advice and information to help managers manage flexible working and promote work-life balance working within their teams. There seems to be a need for some positive support for managers. From 6 April 2003, staff with children under the age of 6 and disabled children up to the age of 18 will have the formal right to request a flexible pattern under the Government‟s Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice Regulations on flexible working. The guide covers a number of areas that should be considered to enable a smooth transition into the „new working pattern‟ whilst ensuring effective integration and harmony with the team and organisation. This short guidance note tries to provide that support to managers by:     clarifying some work-life guiding principles for managers and staff offering a framework for assessing a request to work flexibly suggesting new management approaches to bring on staff working flexibly suggesting the option of self-managed teams.

You‟ll find some practical hints for managers who are new to flexible working at annex A. Acknowledgements to the DTI for the information provided on their Website and used by us within this guide. Finally, special thanks go to the FCO for their invaluable contribution to this guide. We have included the FCO guide to Job-Sharing as an annex (see Annex B). It‟s meant specifically for FCO staff, and is an example of how one department is managing, in practical terms, the issue of staff working flexibly.


Flexible Working: The right to apply A basic summary 1. This new right will enable mothers and fathers to request to work flexibly. It will not provide an automatic right to work flexibly as there will always be circumstances when the employer is unable to accommodate the employee‟s desired work pattern. The right is designed to meet the needs of both parents and employers, especially small employers. It aims to facilitate discussion and encourage both the employee and the employer to consider flexible working patterns and to find a solution that suits them both. The employee has a responsibility to think carefully about their desired working pattern when making an application, and the employer is required to follow a specific procedure to ensure requests are considered seriously. Eligibility In order to make a request under the new right an individual will:          be an employee have a child under six, or under 18 in the case of a disabled child have worked with their employer continuously for 26 weeks at the date the application is made make the application no later than two weeks before the child‟s sixth birthday or 18th birthday in the case of a disabled child have or expect to have responsibility for the child‟s upbringing be making the application to enable them to care for the child not be an agency worker not be a member of the armed forces not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during the past 12 months.

Scope of a request Eligible employees will be able to request:    a change to the hours they work a change to the times when they are required to work to work from home.

This covers working patterns such as annualised hours, compressed hours, flexitime, homeworking, job-sharing, self-rostering, shift working, staggered hours and term-time working (further information on different types of flexible working and the potential business benefits can be found at Applications for a change in working pattern will not always require a significant alteration. For example, a parent may simply wish to start work half an hour later to take their child to school and make up the time later in the day.

See also FLEXIBLE WORKING – THE RIGHT TO APPLY A basic summary (PL516) on the DTI Website


Work Life Balance – A Managers’ Guide
A flexible approach to work is essential in a modern Civil Service. It means we can think creatively about delivering services and about supporting ministers in delivering policy. It means we can expect the best out of our staff in return for fulfilling their expectations of us to respect their home lives. Our staff who work flexibly are a significant resource. Over 14% of Civil Servants (some 60,000 staff) now work less than full-time. 53,000 staff are at EO level or below. Nearly 120 part-time staff are in the Senior Civil Service. Many part-time staff have children but a significant number do not – they have simply made other life choices. We know that many full-time staff have access to flexi-schemes and that a significant number of full-time staff are working in a non-traditional way (compressed hours, informal homeworking). They like the opportunity to match their working arrangements with their personal lives and responsibilities to:       look after an elderly relative study undertake voluntary/community work prepare for retirement fulfill their religious observance pursue sporting or other keen personal interests

Yet despite a firm commitment across the Service that different working patterns can work in all jobs and at all levels and that they need never deny individuals the opportunity for promotion, many managers experience difficulties when they try to put work life balance policies into practice. This results in inconsistencies within and between departments, and accusations of lip service management. At the bottom line, there seems to be a clear need for some positive support for managers, especially because from 6 April 2003, staff with children under the age of 6 and disabled children up to the age of 18 will have the formal right to request a flexible pattern under the Government‟s Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice Regulations on flexible working. The key areas for support appear, from our research, to be:    on the balance to be struck between the business and staff needs with staff who claim that their chosen flexibility is a right and who threaten a grievance scenario in the face of any request to them to change how to manage a fragmented workforce. Abuse is a key concern as is managing part-year working (as the loss of trained staff during school holidays is very difficult to backfill); part-day working (where business and customer demand can be unpredictable); and compressed working hours/days for full-time staff ensuring the proper loading of part time posts ensuring the development of staff who work flexibly

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Work Life Balance: Guiding Principles
All jobs can be seen as the sum of a flexible set of responsibilities and tasks rather than as fixed. They can be changed and reshaped to bring out the best of the knowledge and skills of the staff filling them; and into a range of time and place arrangements that can support both the business and staff „innovatively‟, within a team-based culture. However jobs are done, they need to be done in a way that delivers and can be seen to deliver. Whatever pattern a member of staff works, he or she needs to be valued for their contribution to delivering the business, not hours or days worked Managers can ask their bosses to:      get the right resources for the work organise priorities so that there can be work life balance in practice for everyone never pressure anyone, implicitly or explicitly, not even in the hot spot areas, to work late or long hours value and reward the contribution made by individuals and not the hours spent in the office lead by example

Managers can expect staff to:  express their request for a flexible pattern in terms that take fully into account the job that needs to be done, the impact on the work of the office, the service to customers and the needs of other people in the office be flexible and respond as part of the wider team to deal with new or more pressured circumstances be open about amending their requested pattern if wider team circumstances make this necessary, with, of course, appropriate notice and explanation work with their managers and colleagues to find solutions, if necessary taking a managed move be realistic: implementing this commitment does not mean treating everyone exactly the same. Flexible working is not prescriptive and is not packaged in a one-size fits all solution whatever their flexible pattern: 1. meet the standard for the job; 2. co-operate in scheduling work and share responsibilities for dealing with unexpected pressures, crises and changed team rotas; 3. keep colleagues advised of their hours and activities; 4. play a full and active part in the team

Managers should always:  try to be aware of the range of working patterns available and, with the team, to explore ways of making use of greater flexibility to improve work efficiency be as fair as possible to everyone treating all staff in a consistent manner regardless of their grade, seniority, role or the reasons behind an individual‟s request for a different pattern set no arbitrary limit on the “acceptable” number of staff working an alternative pattern in their organisation try to meet people's need to work less than the standard week or change their working pattern by considering individual requests in the light of the job that person is doing, the requirements to deliver work and meet targets efficiently and improve customer service, the needs of other people in the office, taking into account the Department's equal opportunities policies look for other options if the request cannot be met make sure that part-time staff or staff working a flexible pattern have jobs that are properly designed make sure that part-time staff and staff working flexibly have the same opportunities for development, promotion and progression as staff working traditionally full-time try not to have the expectation that they have to see their staff all the time to make sure they are working. Rather than the "checking" approach, the emphasis will be on trust, targets and results

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? Managers feel that co-workers can be left to carry the can. “I do resent being left in the Assessing office, to hold the fort and carry the can while they’re off doing whatever”

a request for flexible working 6

? Managers feel that advancing part-time staff presents difficult choices Many managers are also unconvinced that senior jobs are do-able in part-time hours.

“To be promoted here you have
to do that little bit extra. I don’t feel comfortable asking those who have opted to work reduced hours to do that bit extra, it seems contrary to their decision. But if I don’t ask them, I am precluding them from an arrangements they opportunity to show that can and will do more and that they are fit for promotion.”

A. THINK OBJECTIVES. Consider the nature of the overall work. Take a fresh look at how the work and jobs might be better organised

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Are there peaks and troughs of work? Could customer service be improved by say, longer opening hours? Could efficiency be improved: more efficient use of IT equipment or accommodation? What about absenteeism, sickness and stress? What about morale, commitment and loyalty?

B. THINK JOB. Consider the objectives of the specific post in question

Look carefully at the tasks to be done. Consider the expected outcomes. Define the timescales required. Separate the essential outputs from the desirable. Identify the appropriate core skills. Consider if there are any lower priority tasks for which a longer timescale would be acceptable provided certain key targets continue to be met.

C. THINK FLEXIBLE. Consider the time input required to get the work done and the number of hours, days and times the individual wants to work

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How vital is it to have the same person in the office for the whole week? What are the periods of heaviest workload? Would there be severe difficulties if a member of staff was absent at a particular time? How much flexibility would be required?

D. THINK TEAM. Consider the shape of the team as a whole

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Look at the working pattern of all team members and consider the flexibility, if any, that already exists within the team. Decide whether there might be potential bottlenecks, or whether someone working a flexible pattern could provide a better balance within the team. Other members of the team may be able to undertake some of the tasks within reason, if priorities are reviewed and the workload arranged differently. A part-time post will give some flexibility within the pay budget which might be used to provide additional support or relieve pressure elsewhere in the branch or division. Remember, even full-time staff are not present in the office all the time. Look at what happens during periods of annual and sick leave, attendance at training courses, seminars and meetings. Including someone working flexibly in the team may provide scope to develop less experienced members of staff who can value the opportunity to demonstrate skills at a higher level and to have increased contact with senior staff.

E. THINK “MATCH”. Look for a "match" and be prepared to negotiate

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Someone else in the team who works part-time may no longer need to work the hours or days they do and may be willing and able to change to help colleagues the individual him/herself may be able to offer an alternative proposal.


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Celebrate Notify Personnel Section of: the starting date, the new number of hours and when they are to be worked.




Explain how the request has been fully considered by reference to the working patterns of existing staff; the options for matching hours with one or more of the existing part-timers; the discussions with others willing to change their pattern; the possibility of reallocating work within the team Explain the options for the future:  part-time on a different basis  change of office  change of job within the office  a trial period  review in x months


Developing successful self-managed teams

Give the responsibility of managing flexible working patterns and achieving the outputs to the staff themselves
 the staffing requirements and skill mix necessary to provide appropriate cover in the office at all times, without placing an unfair burden on staff just because they are in the office, such as late in the day or on Mondays and Fridays. how work matters/progress and wider team issues will be communicated within and to the team, given inevitably reduced opportunities for face to face contact with staff working from home or staff working fewer or different hours. It is important to have a clear view about the frequency, timing, attendance of, and feedback from, meetings so that managers can arrange team meetings when they need to. how staff will be accommodated. New work patterns can result in an increase in the number of team members and traditionally regarded personal space may have to become a thing of the past. It may be necessary and right to share telephones and computers and desks. how problems will be resolved. Problems always arise. There is increasing pressure of targets set by departmental needs or budget changes. There can be resentment from people working traditionally that they are having to carry more of a burden because at certain times of day they are on their own, or have to take a disproportionate number of telephone calls for colleagues. There can be resentm ent from staff working flexibly, concerned that they are missing out on important meetings or training opportunities. Openness, transparency and building out the team culture, so that there is an honest environment in which everyone is encouraged to share their ideas, is critical. how the team will cooperate in scheduling work and sharing responsibilities for dealing with unexpected pressures and crises how changes will be handled. No-one‟s work can be ringfenced for ever. There may need to be changes to, or a re-organisation of relationships, between staff. Everyone has to benefit from being more flexible. how success will be measured to ensure that new working arrangements are evaluated to monitor the impact upon the performance and delivery of service. A review is an opportunity to consider how flexible working is affecting the delivery of service. If there are problems it is important to identify these so that adjustments and improvements can be made. If successful, the review is an opportunity to consider ways of extending flexibility if desired.




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Agree with the team how you will assess whether the team and individuals within it are meeting the standard for the job Agree sufficient training to enable the team and individuals within it to work effectively without direct face-to-face support Be forward thinking, re-examining existing team design to enhance service provision by varied working arrangements (e.g. early starts, later finishes, extra days); and re-examining procedures and systems to concentrate on performance, attitudes and behaviours and resolving problems.



Bringing on Talent
INCLUDE     Make sure that the new team member receives a proper induction to your area and to the wider organisation: it is easy to overlook them as they are „not always going to be there‟! Have a strategy for ensuring that staff working flexibly know about events and decisions made in their absence. Make sure that the rest of the team and other contacts are aware of everyone‟s working arrangements, when they will be available and what impact that might have. Wherever possible rotate the arrangements for staff meetings so that they are occasionally held when part-timers are working; organise any awaydays with as much notice as possible so that part-time staff can try to make arrangements to enable them to attend if the event happens to fall on a non-working day Twin staff working a flexible pattern with a member of staff working a traditional pattern to ensure a cross-over of ideas. Be honest, especially on the first day, about what the job entails, what your expectations are and the level of flexibility expected. Some staff working a flexible pattern can be more flexible than others depending on personal circumstances. In return offer understanding and support if emergencies arise or circumstances change. Be clear how you will monitor progress and evaluate work. Be clear about how you will keep a track of loading (it is often really difficult to get this right for part-time staff: too little is as big a problem as too much) the expectation of the amount of work a part-time person can achieve and the setting of deadlines. This issue applies to everybody, as the expectation of what is achievable in a full time job role is often not necessarily clearly set out. But it can be particularly acute in the case of part-time staff. Often part-time workers take on too much, based on the model of a „normal‟ full time working week. Between monitoring points, trust staff to complete a task in a way that works best for them. Be available and approachable Allow staff scope and encouragement to develop their skills by varying the tasks they are required to do, giving them specific areas of responsibility. Deal with colleague comments such as “so you‟re leaving now”, or “another half day”, often intended as light-hearted. These can make them feel harassed as well as criticised as though they are not pulling their weight. Ensure all staff, including part-time staff, know about vacancies Actively encourage staff working flexible arrangements to apply for promotion, helping them to show in their application forms how their pattern represents an opportunity for the new post, not a problem. Re-assure staff that commitment is not judged on the number of hours worked but rather on performance and attitude, delivery and output. Find ways to raise the profile of staff who are not regularly in the office. Learn from others – increasingly senior managers are working flexibly themselves Seek out role models Work with other senior managers to seize opportunities for creating flexibly structured senior posts


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Annex A
Useful Hints and Tips for managers new to flexible working
This guide is about providing “positive support” for managers In order to help the manager new to flexible working move from best intentions through to making it really work. Below are a few helpful hints and tips (some of which are reiterated in the FCO guide).  Consider how use e.g. of a rotating handover note could assist communication between part-time workers, remembering that it will be important that the manager should not become the fallback conduit for communication by default. Consider whether job guidance notes need to be drawn up, if there are none. Consider how a free flow of information can be maintained with individuals working from home, in particular taking account of any office IT security barriers. Consider how in practice the outcome of discussion at staff meetings which flexible workers cannot attend can routinely be communicated to them. Consider, for part-time workers sharing a job, whether a common e-mail address can be arranged so that people communicating with the job-holder can do so freely without having to be aware of which person is at the other end. Where line management responsibility for any member of staff is shared, establish at the start which manager will be responsible for what aspects of management, and especially how performance monitoring and appraisal writing will work. Be aware that part-time workers who, owing to the hours they work, do not get their pro rata share of public holidays are entitled to take additional days off in lieu of the shortfall and that this will need to be taken into account in arranging cover. Establish what the ground rules for flexibly working staff will be on earning overtime or taking time off in lieu for any courses (e.g. training) which they attend outside their own hours. Consider early on what future arrangements would be for transferring from a flexibly worked job to a full-time job if that were to occur. Would two part-time job-sharers change their work patterns at the same time?

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Annex B
JOB-SHARING The following guidance has been issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Although it is meant specifically for FCO staff, it is an example of how one department is managing, in practical terms, the issue of staff working flexibly. JOB-SHARING IN THE UK Introduction We all want to be able to combine our working lives with other obligations and interests outside work. The FCO is responding to this demand for a decent work/life balance. We want to retain our valued staff and attract new recruits, and are looking to offer increased flexibility in working patterns to achieve this objective. Whether you are based in the UK or overseas you may want to job-share for all sorts of reasons, either long or short-term. For example, you may:     Wish to pursue Further Education. Have childcare or other family responsibilities. Want to reduce your working commitments as you approach retirement Simply want more time to pursue other interests.

FCO policy is to respond positively to requests for job-sharing wherever possible. If, for operational reasons this cannot be done you will be informed of the reasons for the refusal. What is job-sharing? Job-sharing involves usually two people sharing responsibility for a full-time job. The majority of job-shares in the FCO are between officers of the same grade where both partners must be suited to the requirements of the job applied for. However, a job-share can also consist of two differently graded officers working on and being responsible for different component parts of a job. From the start the division of work would have to be clearly defined in two separate job-specifications approved by the line manager and Head of Department/post. This can be useful where a job calls for a diverse range of skills that can easily be identified and which might not be easy to find in one employee. How is a partner found? Log on to the job-share register on the FCO Intranet (click on A-Z Topics and select “job-sharing”). The register includes details of all those currently interested in job-sharing. It is up-dated regularly by the MUPL/SUPL team in PMU1. Alternatively you can contact the Team directly (contact details on final page). It can also be useful to do some networking through friends and colleagues yourself. To apply for a specific job you will need to identify a suitable partner and present yourself, on paper, as a team to PD-PM. If you have not managed to identify a partner but wish to apply for a job which is advertised it is worth contacting the department concerned to see if the job could be done on a flexible basis until a partner can be found. What makes a successful job-share?        Flexibility Good Communication An interested and potentially compatible job-share partner Supportive line manager and Head of Department Co-operation Good team-working/pragmatism Commitment and skills to work closely with another person


Annex B
 Good organisation skills/time management

Bidding for a job in the UK All jobs at home (London, Croydon and Hanslope Park) are open to job-sharers unless a Department can demonstrate that the work cannot be organized to suit a job-share. Partners need to make it clear to their respective personnel officers and on the bidding form that they are bidding for a particular job on the Home Agenda (or a trawl notice) on a job-share basis. A job-share can work well in a job which requires continuous cover but which is not so fast moving to make a handover of tasks and reading oneself back into the job too time-consuming and difficult. Career Development PD-PM aim to develop the careers of job-sharers in the same way as full-time staff. There will be opportunities to change to other jobs in the normal career pattern, but that will depend on the availability of suitable partners. You should discuss this with your personnel officer or PD-PMU1 (contact details on final page). Promotion Job-sharers will be considered for promotion in the same way as full-time staff. If coming back to work after a long period of Special Unpaid Leave you may return at a higher Band if successful at a promotion competition, at an Assessment and Development Centre (ADC) or if you receive a promotable assessment. A promotion competition operates for Band A to Band B. ADC‟s exist for promotion from Band B to Band C and from Band D to SMS. Promotion from Band C to Band D is based on a written PADU assessment drawing on appraisal evidence. Posting on promotion into a part-time slot is possible on the same basis as into any full-time slot ie subject to availability and success at the board. Job Appraisals Appraisals will be completed on the same basis as for full-timers with separate and shared objectives being set for each holder. Objectives set should be achievable in the reduced hours worked. If returning from a period of Special Unpaid Leave it is vital and in your own interest to have an appraisal completed six months after your first day back. This is for performance pay purposes. Training Job-sharers are entitled to the same training as everyone else. However, finding time for training is sometimes difficult and both managers and job-sharers have to be flexible. Courses cannot be adapted to cover job-sharers days/hours. Training should still be done in office hours. If it is not, the job-sharer should be paid for the additional days/hours having obtained prior agreement from the Directorate‟s Resource Management Officer (RMO). Alternatively, Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) should be agreed. Training Wing will meet the costs of childcare incurred as a result of training courses on a day that the officer would not normally work (you should consult the course organiser about how to make the claim).


Annex B

What are the practicalities? Hours of work There are no hard and fast rules. But the split in hours must be agreed between the job-sharers and the line management. Many variations are possible but the most popular arrangements are: Split week – one works the first half of the week while the other works the second. Some jobs may benefit from the job-sharers having an overlap of up to half a day ie 10% of the slot, but due to the financial implications of such an arrangement prior agreement must be obtained from the Directorate‟s RMO. Split day – one works each morning every week while the other works each afternoon Alternate week – one works one week while the other works the next. The weeks can run eg Mon-Fri or Wed-Wed (the latter has the advantage of continuity over the weekend). Alternate two and three day weeks – one works 2 days one week and three days the next while the other works 3 days (on the partners 2 day week) and 2 days the next. If, exceptionally, job-sharers work in excess of their agreed hours they will be paid at the plain time rate but this must be agreed in advance with the Directorate‟s RMO. Only if they work in excess of gross conditioned hours (41 in London and 42 at Hanslope Park) will they be entitled to claim overtime rates if in an overtime grade. Division of work This is something job-sharers need to agree between themselves and their line manager. For most job-shares across the board subject cover is essential for both officers. However, in some jobs each partner may specialise in working on particular projects or covering specific geographical areas. It is important that both parties agree how the job-share is set up at the outset (who covers what subjects, how staff are managed etc) otherwise managers and colleagues may become sceptical about the workability of a job-share. Once agreed, job sharers should ensure that the working arrangement is communicated, preferably in writing, to managers and colleagues. Line managers must agree the division of work and be clear about their management role. Job-sharers must make satisfactory arrangements for line managing staff – working to two bosses can take some adjustment. It may be easier for one partner only to take on direct line management responsibility. In some cases one partner writes the report and the other countersigns. In general, job-sharers must make special efforts to avoid inconsistent requests or directions. Salary Salary (including any performance pay) is paid on a pro rata basis according to the hours worked. PD-PS (Pay Services Unit) telno 020 7008 1448 or RAD (HAPSU) telno 01908 515231 for Hanslope Park managed staff can advise on the exact calculations. Have your PF number at the ready!


Annex B

Leave Leave is calculated on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the number of days or hours worked. For example (assuming an annual leave allowance of 25 days): Part-time week = 2.5 days Full-time week = 5 days Allowance = 25/5 x 2.5 = 12.5 days (Remember that you only need a pro-rata number of days‟ leave to get a full week off!) Public and Privilege Holidays Job-sharers are eligible for a proportion of public and privilege holidays, again on a pro-rata basis. The full-time allowance is 10.5 days a year which includes 2.5 days privilege holidays. Some job-sharers may find that they get more or less time than their pro rata entitlement ie in a half week job-share, the Monday to Wednesday partner gets the majority of public holidays and must therefore work the balance due at an agreed time. The partner working Wednesday to Friday must be allowed to take leave in lieu of the pro rata public holidays owed, at a time agreed with the line manager. (For further details see FCO Guidance Volume 5, Chapter 7.9) Pensions Job-sharers are eligible for membership of one of the Civil Service Pension Schemes. Reckonable service (used in the calculation of pension benefits) is accrued at a pro rata rate whilst job-sharing. From 1 October 2002 the various options are: a) To remain in the existing scheme (renamed Classic); or b) Join one of the two new schemes, Classic Plus or Premium. New entrants can choose between: i) Premium Pension Scheme – a scheme based on years of service and final pensionable earnings with a member contribution rate of 3.5% of earnings. Partnership pension Scheme – a personal pension based on the stakeholder pension model with employer contributions based on member age. On top of this, the employer will match member contributions £ for £ up to a maximum of 3% of pay.


Sick Absence Job-sharers are paid sick absence on pro rata rates of pay, on the same terms as full time staff (see Code of Management Volume 5 Chapter 12.8 and 12.9). Holiday There is no reason why a desk should not be left unstaffed if both officers want to take leave at the same time. But there is no need for job-sharers to automatically take leave together. If one officer is on leave, the other does not have to work full-time. Line managers must be prepared to accept that they cannot expect one job-sharer to achieve a full week‟s work in part-time hours, and adjust their expectations accordingly.


Annex B
Job Sharing Overseas There have been some opportunities overseas for officers who have found themselves on SUPL and are able to job-share with another UK-based member of staff who is also on SUPL or who no longer wishes to work full time in the Mission. These sorts of arrangements are generally straight-forward because there is no impact on the accommodation provided for the officers. Complications may arise when two officers wish to be posted overseas on a job-share basis. Below are some points that should be considered by officers and Posts before putting forward a proposal for a job-share in a Mission. Most importantly, officers need to consider carefully the financial implications of job-sharing overseas. The consequential reduction in salary, allowances and other entitlements, combined with the money the officer is required to pay towards the cost of officially-supplied accommodation, utilities and furnishings, means that in some cases this type of arrangement may not be economically viable. Making the Business Case The Board of management signalled that there should be a presumption in favour of agreeing proposals presented by staff, when these do not involve disproportionate costs. The onus is on the prospective job-sharers to put forward proposals setting out their personal rationale as well as the likely additional costs/savings to the FCO. Working Arrangements The relevant PMU will need to know the start and end dates for the arrangement. They will also need to be given information about the working hours, the division of work and any management responsibilities and how these will be arranged. It is important that the Post has already thought about what will happen to the job when one job-sharer moves on ahead of the other partner. Duty roster commitments will need to be agreed locally at Post. Pay and Leave The job-sharer‟s salary will be paid on a pro rata basis according to the number of hours worked (ie one day = 20% of salary and allowances etc). The same applies to the payment of overseas allowances such as COLA and the various elements of DSCA. Car loans would be paid pro rata. Any agreed overlap will not be reflected in overseas allowances. For job-sharers they are based on a pro-rata split of allowances for a full-time officer. Leave is also calculated on a pro-rata basis in proportion to the number of days or hours worked. However, job-sharers only need a pro rata number of days‟ leave to get a full week off. Officers job-sharing overseas will be entitled to fare paid leave on a pro-rata basis. Accommodation and related-costs UK-based officers posted overseas and wishing to job-share will be entitled to officially-supplied accommodation on a pro-rata basis. They will be expected to contribute towards the cost of accommodation and utilities also on a pro rata basis to cover the private use of these benefits. In some cases, the officer may have the opportunity to find accommodation to suit their budget using the proportionate share of the rent ceiling for the grade. The officer will also be expected to contribute towards the furniture and fittings of post-provided accommodation which for ease and consistency of assessment, will be based on the price of a standard Global Procurement furniture pack for the grade of officer concerned. Management Officers will need to work out a figure (in consultation with ESU) to be deducted from the officer‟s salary. School Fees


Annex B

The Board of Management has agreed that officers working overseas in a job-share arrangement would still be entitled to have the full cost of their children‟s school fees at Post paid by the FCO. The same applies to boarding school fees. Both officers would be entitled to the full amount of training, language allowances and medical cover. Practical Arrangements The following are some points to consider when putting together a proposal for job-sharing overseas:              Start and end dates (including succession in the event that one job-sharer is posted before the other) Working hours and division of work Management responsibilities Representational duties Leave Duty roster/lock and leave Pay/Overseas allowances Fare paid leave travel School Fees Medical insurance Accommodation and related costs Pensions Direct Representational Expenses (DRE)

Benefits of a job-share If managed well, a job-share partnership can bring added benefits to a Department:    Two people can bring a wider range of skills, experience and enthusiasm to a job than one. Allows for continuity of coverage of the job – if one partner is sick at least half the job gets done. Allows for continuity of skills – if one partner leaves, someone knowledgeable is still available to continue to do the work; and when one person goes on holiday there is still likely to be part-time cover.

As job-sharers do not always take leave at the same time, the Department does not have to cover long absences. This can minimise disruption in busy Departments. Tips for Line Managers Supportive line management is essential. Line managers must realize that the settling-in period for a job-share can be longer than for a full-time worker. Each partner has half as much time to read themselves in.


Annex B
Job-sharers can be expected to get through the same amount of work as an individual officer and should meet tight deadlines and cope with demanding workloads just like any other officer. The handover/continuity need not be an issue. Providing a handover mechanism is in place, maintaining continuity is rarely a problem. Line managers should meet regularly with both job-share partners together and separately to discuss how the job-share is working. Job-sharers should be appraised as individuals and should set individual objectives (although there could be a majority of shared objectives depending on the job). Each person will have their own personal training objectives. Overall performance markings may differ. Line managers should guard against marking one job-share partner up or down on account of something the other job-share partner has done. It is important for both job-sharers to feel part of the Department. If possible, weekly Departmental meetings should be held during the overlap (if there is one). Both should be included in social events, staff meetings etc otherwise they can become isolated and will perform less well as part of the Department. Line managers need to be clear on objectives and deadlines. In this way the job-sharers do not miss deadlines or neglect areas of work. Managers must give the training and developmental needs of job-sharers equal consideration with that given to full-time staff. Job-sharers need to be kept up to date with what is happening within the organization and the Department. Face to face communication with a manager is a vital way of ensuring staff feel valued. Job-sharing can cause some additional management issues eg two appraisals instead of one, training for two instead of one, and the need to anticipate absences and co-ordinate meetings. Useful Tips for making a job-share Work Job-sharers should not try to compete with each other. It has to be a co-operative venture to ensure the success of the partnership. Inevitably partners have to rely on one another and have less control over their work. Each will affect the performance of the other to some degree. Good communication is vital. Most important are adequate handover notes and leaving clear paper trails in areas dealt with by both officers. Some job-sharers negotiate an additional 10% (approximately 3 hours) handover period with their Department and the Directorate‟s RMO so that both partners are in at the same time and can go through key issues, attend meetings etc. Other job-sharers may find that detailed notes, use of IT/Firecrest, messages on a Dictaphone and briefing by telephone will suffice. To avoid duplication of e-mails ask for a shared e-mail account to be set up as well as individual ones for each job-share partner. A joint diary is essential to ensure appointments are kept and job-sharers can make commitments on behalf of each other. It is important to annotate papers to show what action or conversation has taken place. This enables the job-sharer to follow up issues with minimum disruption to colleagues. Job-sharers may need to be rung at home occasionally for consultation when urgent action or clarification of an issue, is needed by the other partner.


Annex B
It is important that job-sharers discuss what they are prepared to take on to ensure that the work is evenly distributed. Job-sharers need to take particular care in managing staff to (a) avoid inconsistency and (b) be receptive to comments from junior staff who might find the situation confusing at first. It is useful to keep your colleagues in the Department informed of your movements. A simple way is to make use of a white board detailing who will be in on what days with details of meetings, leave etc

FCO December 2002


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