FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY – THE RIGHT TO REQUEST by dfhrf555fcg

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FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY – THE RIGHT TO REQUEST

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									           FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY (THE RIGHT TO REQUEST)

Introduction

West Wiltshire District Council already supports innovative approaches to flexible
working to help employees achieve a balance between home and work. This
policy, builds on the Council’s existing commitment to flexible working.

From 6 April 2003 parents of children aged under six or of disabled children aged
under 18 will have the right to request to work flexibly providing they have the
qualifying length of service.

From 6 April 2007 the right to request to work flexibly has been extended to
employees who are carers of certain adults providing they also meet eligibility
requirements.

Please note that the policy does not provide an automatic right to work flexibly as
there will be circumstances when the Council is unable to accommodate a
request or desired working pattern. It aims to facilitate discussion and encourage
both the employee and the Council to consider flexible working patterns and to
find a solution that suits both.

When making an application you must think carefully about your desired working
pattern, and the Council will follow a specific procedure to ensure that all
requests are considered seriously.

If a change is agreed, it will be permanent (unless otherwise agreed by both
parties) and there will be no right to revert back to the former arrangements. If
you are unsure about exercising your right to make a request, are not eligible
under this policy or you have any general enquires, please discuss this with
Human Resources prior to making a formal request.

Eligibility

In order to make a request you must:-

Either

        have a child under six, or under 18 in the case of a disabled child and
        be:-
         a) the child’s mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent, or
         b) married to or the partner of one of the above and living with the child
         c) be making the application no later than two weeks before the child’s
            sixth birthday or eighteenth birthday in the case of a disabled child
         d) have or expect to have responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
Or

        Be or expect to be caring for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative; or,
         if not the spouse, partner or relative, live at the same address as the adult
         in need of care.

     You must also:
      be an employee
      have worked continuously for West Wiltshire District Council for at least 26
        weeks at the date the application is made
      be making the application to enable you to care for a child or for an adult
        in need of care
      not be an agency worker
      not have made another application to work flexibly under the right during
        the past 12 months.

What can I request?

Eligible employees will be able to request the following:-

        a change to the hours that you work
        a change to the times when you are required to work
        to work from home for all or some of your contractual hours

This covers working patterns such as annualised hours, homeworking, job-
sharing, staggered hours and term-time working. You can read more about
these working patterns in the Council’s Work-Life Balance Policy.

How do I make an application?

To apply for Flexible Working complete the attached form ‘Flexible Working
Application Form’ and give this to your Manager. All requests for Flexible
Working must be made in writing, this includes email and fax.

You will only be able to make one application a year under the right, and
accepted applications will mean a permanent change to your terms and
conditions of employment.

Points to consider:-

Before making an application you should give careful consideration to the
following:-

        which working pattern will help you to offer the best care for the child or
         adult in need of care;
      financial implications where the desired working pattern will involve a drop
       in salary; and
      it is worth thinking about the effects that your request may have on the
       Section you work in and how these might be accommodated.

What happens next?

Within 28 days of receiving your written request your Manager will arrange a
meeting with you to discuss your application. Where an application is made by
email or fax, it will be taken to be received on the day it was transmitted.

You can bring a work colleague from the Council to the meeting if you wish who
may be a union representative. The colleague will be permitted to address the
meeting but not to answer questions on your behalf.

If your chosen colleague is unavailable at the time proposed for the meeting, it
will be postponed to a time proposed by you, provided this is convenient to your
manager and within seven days beginning with the day after the day initially
proposed by the manager.

If the manager who would normally consider the request is absent from work due
to sickness or annual leave when an application is received, the period will
commence on the date the manager returns or 28 days after the application is
made, whichever is sooner.

The meeting:-

The purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity to explore the proposed
work pattern in depth and to discuss how best it might be accommodated. It is
also an opportunity to consider other alternative working patterns should there be
problems in accommodating the work pattern that you have requested.

To get the most from the meeting you should:-

      Be prepared to expand on any points within your application.
      Prepare to be flexible. Your Manager may ask you if there are any other
       working patterns you would be willing to consider or if you would consider
       another start date or a trial period.
      If you choose to take along a work colleague, make sure they are fully
       briefed on your request beforehand, provide them with a copy of your
       application, and inform your Manager that a companion will be present.
      Familiarise yourself with the Work Life Balance Policy beforehand.
Following the meeting

Within 14 days after the date of the meeting Human Resources will write to you
to either:

   a)     confirm agreement to a new work pattern and a start date; or
   b)     confirm that the request has been refused.

If the request is refused, the letter will state the grounds for refusal and an
explanation of why they apply in the circumstances. The letter will also contain
details of the appeal procedure.

Please note that the Council has the scope to properly refuse a request if it can
show that there is a sound business reason why flexible working arrangements
cannot be introduced. The valid grounds for rejecting a request are as follows:-

       the burden of additional costs
       detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
       inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
       inability to recruit additional staff
       detrimental impact on quality
       detrimental impact on performance
       insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
       planned structural changes

There will be occasion when the manager may need more time to explore an
alternative working pattern and therefore all time periods can be extended
through agreement with you and your Manager. Any extensions will be recorded
in writing by the Manager and copied to you.

The right to appeal

If your application for Flexible Working is refused and you are unhappy with this
decision, you have the right to appeal. To begin this procedure you must
complete and return the ‘Flexible Working Request Appeal Form’, attached to
this policy to Human Resources within 14 days of being notified in writing of the
decision.

The appeal will be held within 28 days from the date on which you submit your
Flexible Working Request Appeal Form. The appeal will be heard by a
Corporate Team officer who is independent of the original decision with a
member of Human Resources as an advisor. The decision of the Corporate
Team officer will be final and there will be no further right of appeal internally.

In the minority of cases some employees may have grounds to pursue their
request with third party involvement. This may be by referring their request to an
Employment Tribunal. Further information can be obtained from Human
Resources or your trade union representative.

Withdrawal of Request for Flexible Working

The Council will treat an application as withdrawn where an employee has:-

   a)     notified their manager whether verbally or in writing that they are
          withdrawing the application;
   b)     without reasonable cause, failed to attend a meeting to discuss their
          request on more than one occasion; or
   c)     without reasonable cause, refused to provide their manager with
          information required to assess whether the contract variation should be
          agreed to.

Human Resources will confirm in writing the withdrawal of the employee’s
application and the date that they will be eligible to make a further application.




Consultation:        LJCC 05.03.2007
Approved:            LJCC 05.03.2007
                    Request For Flexible Working Application Form

1. Personal Details:

   Name…………………………………………..                              Payroll No…………………………...

   Manager………………………………………..

   To: (Line Manager):……………………………………………………………………

   I would like to apply to work a flexible working pattern that is different to my
   current working pattern under my right provided in law.

   I confirm I meet each of the eligibility criteria as follows
   (tick the one which applies):

           I have responsibility for the upbringing of either a child under six or a
            disabled child under 18.

            I am:
            - the mother, father, adopter, guardian or foster parent of the child; or
            - married to or the partner of one of the above and living with the child

            I am making this request no later than two weeks before the child’s sixth
            birthday or 18th birthday where disabled.

            I am making this request to help me care for the child.

   Or

           I am, or expect to be, caring for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative;
            or if not the spouse, partner or a relative live at the same address as the
            adult in need of care.


   And

           I have worked continuously for WWDC for the last 26 weeks.

           I have not made a request to work flexibly under this right during the past
            12 months.
2a    Describe your current working pattern (days / hours / times worked):

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………


2b    Describe the working pattern you would like to work in future (days /
      hours / times worked:)

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………
(continue on a separate sheet if necessary)


2c    I would like this working pattern to commence from:

      Date:………………...


3.    Impact of the new working pattern

I think this change in my working pattern will affect the Council and my
colleagues as follows:

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………..................
(continue on a separate sheet if necessary)
4.    Accommodating the new working pattern

I think the effect on the Council and my colleagues can be dealt with as follows:

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………
(continue on a separate sheet if necessary)


Signed ………………………………………………….

Date …………………………….

Please submit this form to your Line Manager.



(Line Manager – Please detach this part of the form and to give to the employee)

Employer’s Confirmation of Receipt

Dear…………………………………………………………

I confirm that I received your request to change your work pattern on:
Date:……………

I shall be arranging a meeting to discuss your application within 28 days following
this date. In the meantime you might want to consider whether you would like a
fellow colleague to accompany you at the meeting.

Signed ……………………………………………..
                         Flexible Working Appeal Form

Note to the Employee:

If your application has been refused, you may appeal against the decision. You
can use this form to make your appeal. You should set out the grounds on which
you are appealing within 14 days of receiving written notice that your application
for flexible working has been turned down.

To: Human Resources

I wish to appeal against the decision to refuse my application for flexible working.
I am appealing on the following grounds:

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

………………………………………………………………………………………………

(Please continue on a separate sheet if necessary)


Signed …………………………………………….. Date ……………………………….

Name ……………………………………………..
     (Please print)

Please send this form to Human Resources within 14 days of receiving
written notice that your application for flexible working has been turned
down.
                 FLEXIBLE WORKING – RIGHT TO REQUEST

                            Guidance for Managers

This attachment to the Flexible Working Policy is designed to provide managers
with additional guidance concerning the implementation of the policy.

If a member of staff makes a verbal request to work flexibly, please ensure that
they complete and submit the necessary request form contained in the procedure.

All line managers receiving a request must ensure that the time scales and
processes set out in the policy for dealing with a request are adhered to. A
member of staff may have the right to take their case to an employment tribunal if
these timescales are not complied with.

The meeting:-

To ensure that you get the most from a meeting to discuss an application for
flexible working you might want to:-

      make a list or draft agenda of the issues you want to discuss at the
       meeting, e.g. if you are already aware that the request can be granted,
       you may want to discuss a suitable start date before formally accepting
       the request
      inform your employee of anyone you have asked to join the meeting, e.g.
       Personnel
      ask other members of your team who work part time if they would want to
       cover any extra hours that may be created as a result of granting the
       request
      speak to Human Resources beforehand for advice concerning the
       available options
      familiarise yourself with the Work-Life Balance Policy and the different
       types of flexible working arrangements which the Council can
       accommodate

What are the business grounds for refusing a request?

All requests for flexible working need to be considered seriously. An application
can be refused only where there is a clear business reason as detailed below:-

      burden of additional costs
      detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
      inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
      inability to recruit additional staff
      detrimental impact on quality
       detrimental impact on performance
       insufficiency of work during the periods the employee proposes to work
       planned structural changes

The applicant is entitled to receive written confirmation of their manager’s
decision within 14 days of their meeting.

Human Resources will write to them on your behalf but it is very important that
you provide all the details of:-

       the new arrangements if the request is accepted; or
       if there is a clear business ground for refusing a request you must explain
        the grounds for refusal. Your explanation should include the key facts
        about why the business ground applies in the circumstances, be accurate
        and clearly relevant.

If you have any queries or need advice about a request to work flexibly, please
contact Human Resources at the earliest possible opportunity.

								
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