CRAVEN DISTRICT COUNCIL
Flexible working practice and
Flowchart: Requesting flexible working 2
Statement of commitment 3
Introduction to flexible working 3
Statutory right to request flexible working 4
Craven District Council‟s Policy 5
Principles of flexible working 5
Types of flexible working 6
Requesting flexible working procedure (1) 6
Requesting flexible working procedure (2) 9
Flexible working in reorganisation or relocation 10
Appendix 1 Types of flexible working 11
Appendix 2 Request for flexible working application form 13
Appendix 3 Manager‟s record of flexible working request 15
Flexible Working Tool-kit;
Guidance for Home-workers and Off-site Workers;
www.flexibility.co.uk - for local government modernisation, case studies and
strategies to manage and implement a flexible working project;
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure -1-
Flexible working policy and procedure
Flowchart: Requesting Flexible Working
Step 1 Employee sends written application The manager considers the request
for flexible working to manager with advice from HR
Within 28 days of
Step 2 Manager and employee meet to Manager consults with HR on the
discuss the application business case for the request.
within 14 days
Step 3 Manager has met with the employee
to notify of his / her decision and
followed up in writing Request accepted
Appeal Employee decides whether to appeal Both the employee and the manager to consider
against the decision, which must be in what arrangements they need to make for the
writing within 15 days using the formal change in working pattern
stage of the Grievance Procedure
Changes confirmed in writing for a 6 month trial
(review at 5 months). If change is permanent, HR
The appeal issues a contract amendment.
must be heard
within 15 days
Outcome of Appeal
An employee with a statutory right to request flexible
working can complain to an employment tribunal within 3
months of the request being refused, or of the manager
failing to follow correct procedure.
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Flexible working policy and procedure
1.0 This policy supports flexible working affecting all employees of Craven District
1.1 The Requesting Flexible Working Procedure applies to all employees of the
Council, unless they are specifically excluded by reason of a separate policy
Statement of commitment
2.0 Craven District Council is committed to the development of innovative working
practices in order to achieve excellence in service provision and work life
balance for its staff. Flexible working offers different ways of working that can
achieve both of these objectives, where there is a genuine business case for
Introduction to flexible working
3.0 Increased flexibility in working patterns is coming from a range of sources:
Government legislation and the modernisation agenda for the public sector;
Service users and job seekers expecting organisations to be more flexible and
Managers experiencing increasing difficulties in recruiting and retaining key
Employees wanting to improve their work life balance.
3.1 Flexible working offers:
Solutions to support individual and service needs – underpinning corporate
objectives to improve or extend service provision;
Improved commitment, morale and attendance of existing employees;
Opportunities for officers to work closer to clients or customers, on the move,
from the nearest office or from home – reducing the pressure for office space;
An incentive to potential job applicants and new recruits.
3.2 The Employment Act 2002 provides the statutory right to request flexible
working to employees who are parents of children under 6 years old or
parents of disabled children under 18 years old. Men as well as women can
take advantage of the statutory right. In addition, from 6 April 2007, under the
Work and Families Act 2006, the statutory right to request flexible working will
be extended to employees who care or expect to care for an adult. An Adult
is defined as someone of age18 years or over. The employee must be
married to (or the partner, or civil partner of) the adult, a relative of the adult or
live at the same address as the adult. See definition of relative overleaf.
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure -3-
3.3 This procedure implements the statutory legislation, and supports managers
seeking to implement different working practices. It covers both the
perspective of the employee who wants to change their working hours, and
the manager who initiates the change for operational reasons.
Statutory right to request flexible working
4.0 Employees of Craven District Council who:
Are parents of children under 6 years old,
Or parents of disabled children under 18 years old have a statutory right to
request flexible working.
Or who are caring or are expecting to care for an adult have a statutory right
to request flexible working.
The statutory definition of an adult is a person aged 18 or over. And the
employee will have a „certain relationship‟ with the person for whom they care
for or expect to care, for example, the person is their husband or wife. See
The statutory definition of a „certain relationship’ is that the person is
Married to, or the partner or civil partner of the employee
A relative of the employee, or if none of these then
Living at the same address as the employee
The statutory definition of a partner is the other member of a couple
consisting of either:
A man or a woman who are not married to each other but are living together
as if they were husband and wife, or
Two people of the same sex who are not civil partners of each other but living
together as if they were civil partners
The statutory definition of a relative of the employee is
The mother, father, adopter, guardian, special guardian , parent-in-law, step-
parent, son, step-son, daughter, step-daughter, brother, step-brother, brother-
in-law, sister, step-sister, sister-in-law, uncle, aunt or grandparent, and
includes adoptive relationships and relationships of the full blood or half blood
or, in the case of an adopted person, such as those relationships as would
exist but for the adoption.
The statutory definition of special guardian means a person appointed as a
special guardian under section 14 A of the Children Act 1989 (special
guardian is legal option intended to provide permanence for children whom
adoption is not appropriate and gives the special guardian parental
responsibility for the child.
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4.1 Parents are defined under the Employment Act 2002 as individuals who “have
or expect to have primary responsibility for the child‟s upbringing”. In practice
a biological parent;
an adoptive parent;
a foster parent;
Or the current partner of a biological or adoptive parent.
The regulations make it clear that a person who is a relative of a parent is not
eligible to make a request.
4.2 Employees must have at least 26 weeks continuous service when they make
a request. Only service with the current employer will count for continuous
service purposes and not previous service with other local government
bodies. They must also have not made another application to work flexibly
under this scheme in the last 12 months.
4.2 Employees must provide a copy of the child‟s birth certificate to determine
their statutory right.
4.3 When applying to work flexibly for childcare arrangements the employee must
make their application no later than the day before the child concerned
reaches the age of six, or if they are disabled eighteen.
Craven District Council‟s Policy
5.0 Craven District Council‟s policy is to consider requests for flexible working
from all employees, to ensure equity and promote improved organisational
performance. A request can be made for a variety of reasons. All requests will
be given the same reasoned consideration based on the merits of the
business case. However, in the event that a request is refused, employees
who do not have a statutory right will not have the same rights to complain to
an employment tribunal. In addition, where two or more employees submit a
request, priority will be given to the employee‟s with the statutory right.
5.1 Craven District Council may ask employees to change the way they currently
work, in order to support improvements to service delivery and efficiency. The
development of a culture of flexible working requires every employee to be
prepared to consider how he or she can do their job differently, when the need
Principles of flexible working
6.0 Some principles which support effective flexible working are:
Encouraging local arrangements to suit particular service needs;
Moving away from the concept of the „9-to-5‟ job;
An emphasis on effective supervision and performance management;
Fairness and consistency in how we consider flexible working;
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Recognising that flexible working is not just a perk for parents;
Increasing the trust placed in employees to work to the standards required.
Types of flexible working
7.0 There may be a variety of ways to work more flexibly than the standard
hours and days of a particular post. Appendix 1 sets out the common types
of flexible working. There are separate HR policies on flexi-time working, job
7.1 The HR team can advise on flexible working options and the possible effect
on an employee‟s terms and conditions of employment.
7.2 Home working and off-site working, using portable or domestic equipment,
raise different issues (logistical, technological, supervision and risk
management). Refer to CDC‟s Home-based Workers Policy
Requesting flexible working procedure (1)
This is the procedure for an employee who wishes to change their own
Making the Request
8.0 Employees should normally make their request at least 3 months before they
would like to change their working arrangement, on the Request for Flexible
Working Application Form (Appendix 2). The request should also be made no
later than the day before the child concerned (where applicable) reached the age
of 6 or, if a disabled child, the day before they reach the age of 18. The request
should include the following:
That it is a request to change their terms and conditions of employment;
Specify the change applied for (work pattern, number of hours of work or
place of work) and when they would like the change to become effective;
Explain what effect, if any, the change might have on the employer, the
service they provide, and their colleagues, and how in their opinion this
could be made to work;
Give the age of the child or other reason for the request i.e. care for an
Provide a copy of the child‟s birth certificate and evidence of the child‟s
disability (if applicable).
Considering the request
8.1 The manager has a duty to meet with the employee within 28 days of
receiving the request, to discuss the request and any possible options and
alternatives if the original request cannot be granted. The employee has the
right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or colleague, who
has the right to time off for that purpose.
8.2 Managers have a legal duty to consider all applications and to decide whether
the desired work pattern can be accommodated within the needs of the
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business. An application can be refused only where the employer has a clear
business reason. HR can offer advice to ensure consistency and fairness
across the Council.
8.3 The statutory regulations allow refusal of a request for one or more of the
Business grounds for refusing a request
Any additional costs involved will impose a burden;
Agreeing to the request will have a detrimental effect on ability to meet
Agreeing to the request will have a detrimental impact on quality or performance;
The employer is unable to re-organise work among existing staff;
The employer is unable to recruit additional staff;
There is insufficient work during the periods the employee proposes to work;
The employer has planned structural changes.
It is recommended that requests for flexible working, where agreed, run for a trial
period prior to any agreement to vary the employee‟s terms and condition on a
This may be particularly important for carers of adults where the situation is likely to
fluctuate or change. This may mean agreeing a requirement for variable patterns of
flexibility i.e. extended home-working periods or temporary or periodic reductions in
Confirming the outcome
8.4 The manager must confirm their decision in writing to the employee within 15
days of the meeting. This may be either to:
Accept the request;
Confirm a compromise discussed in the meeting and set a date for a
Reject the request, explaining the business reasons against one or more of
the statutory grounds for refusal (see box above), and outline the employee‟s
right to appeal against the decision within 15 days of receipt of their
8.5 Where recruitment is taking place in an attempt to accommodate a request,
the manager should write to confirm this to the employee indicating when a
final response to the request is likely. A managers‟ record of flexible working
request (Appendix 3) should be completed and returned to HR.
Agreeing a request
8.6 For those employees with a statutory right to flexible working the agreed new
working pattern will be a permanent change to their terms and conditions
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unless agreed otherwise. It is generally recommended that any agreed
change to the working arrangements should be for a trial period of 6 months.
A review of the working arrangements should take place after 5 months.
Before reducing their hours employees should take advice on the effect on their
8.7 The agreement will be confirmed in writing by the manager, describing the
new working pattern, the agreed start date and the date of the 5 month
review. A copy of any agreement should be sent to HR Services so that
permanent or temporary amendments can be made to the employee‟s terms
and conditions of employment.
Refusing a request
8.8 A request can only legally be refused for 1 of the 7 business reasons set out
in paragraph 8.3 above. The reason(s) for refusal will be explained by the
manager to the employee in person, and followed up in writing. An employee
must subsequently wait 12 months from the date on which his or her last
application was refused, before making a further request.
8.9 Employees who are unhappy with a manager‟s reason(s) for refusing their
request for flexible working with regard to the statutory criteria for refusal, or
who believe the procedure has not been followed correctly may appeal
Please note the time scales below
The procedure to be followed is the Grievance Procedure but the
statutory timescales below must be adhered to
The employee‟s appeal must be made in writing within 15 days of
receiving written confirmation of the manager‟s decision.
The appeal hearing must then be heard within 15 days from when the
notice of appeal is made
And the employer has a further 15 days after the appeal hearing to
inform the employee, in writing, of the decision.
The time limits may only be extended by agreement, between the
employer and the employee and this should be in writing
8.10 Employees with a statutory right to request flexible working can complain to
an employment tribunal. Valid reasons for complaining are that the Council:
Failed to hold the initial meeting or appeal meeting within the request
Failed to provide notice of a decision in accordance with the timescale;
Rejected an application based on incorrect facts.
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An employee with the statutory right to request flexible working who wishes to
complain to a tribunal must do so within 3 months of the failure to follow the
request procedure correctly or of the date of the request being refused.
Requesting flexible working procedure (2)
This is the procedure for a manager who wishes to change their
employees’ working arrangements.
9.0 A manager may consider and implement flexible working arrangements for a
group of staff, for example to meet the needs of service users or to achieve
business objectives. HR can advise on the impact of changed working
patterns or hours on employee‟s terms and conditions of employment.
9.1 The current working patterns of the team should be considered to identify:
Numbers of full and part time staff, and job sharers;
Contractual working hours of each employee;
Core hours of service provision;
Time spent out of the office / with clients;
Time currently spent in the office;
Parts of the work that could be done from home;
Tasks that could be organised differently e.g. different work flow or
processes, use of IT, increased client contact etc
9.2 The flexible working options need to be identified. Some different forms of
flexible working are described in Appendix 1.
It is important to recognise that some staff may naturally have more flexible
working options than others, by nature of the job and service provided.
9.3 It is important to ensure that:
There are no unreasonable additional costs incurred other than IT or
equipment set up costs;
There is no harmful impact on quality, performance or the ability to
meet customers users needs;
Work and working patterns can be reorganised using existing staff
9.4 Draft proposals should be discussed with the team. HR can offer support at
these meetings. Proposals will be refined to reflect the consultation.
9.5 When the revised working arrangements are confirmed a review mechanism
is recommended, with a formal review at 5 months. Each member of staff
should agree to any individual proposed changes to working hours or a
change in work location. HR can advise on variations to individual contracts of
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure -9-
Flexible working in reorganisation or relocation
10.0 In a larger reorganization it is useful to draw up a project plan with clearly
defined rationale and objectives. HR can advise on the likely impact on
employees in terms of their terms and conditions of employment, maintaining
motivation and performance, and determining any resource implications.
10.1 It is important to allow a proper process and time for consultation on the
proposals with employees and their representatives. This feedback will inform
the planning and implementation of change.
10.2 Where a major change in working practices is proposed, affecting a large
group of employees, it might be useful to set up a project team incorporating
HR, Finance, ICT, Facilities Management and Risk Management, to produce
a project plan.
10.3 A thorough risk assessment should be undertaken, and a pilot scheme can
identify opportunities and threats before large-scale investment is required.
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure - 10 -
Types of flexible working
Craven District Council
Type of flexible Description Uses CDC Policy / Practice
Part-time working Working less than a 37 hour working Suitable for many types of job Across the Council
Reduced hours working Working less than the normal Suitable for many types of job Often used for women returning
contractual hours of a particular job. from maternity leave.
Job-sharing Two employees carry out the duties of Suitable for many types of job Job Sharing Scheme
a single post. Each job-sharer is
employed on a part-time basis, but
together they cover the whole post
(and usually each others holidays),
dividing the pay and benefits pro rata
(some exceptions may apply).
Flexi-time Give employees some flexibility and Most suitable where „regular‟ Flexi-time Scheme – not available to
discretion over their working hours and office hours are practised. all staff
the ability to accrue a defined amount
of credit or debit of working hours.
Compressed working An arrangement whereby employees Most suitable where „regular‟ Not currently in practice within the
hours agree to work their contractual hours office hours are practised. Council
over a shorter number of days e.g. an
employee may work longer hours on 4
not 5 days per week, or for 9 nine days
in a fortnight.
Time-off-in-lieu (TOIL) Similar to flexi-time, this is a method of Suitable for many types of job Across the Council
allowing employees time off for extra
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure - 11 -
Type of flexible Description Uses CDC Policy / Practice
Shift working Different shifts of workers doing the Most suitable where services Applies to some service areas within
same jobs for different periods within are provided to the public, and the Council
the working day or night. Shift work is for periods that extend beyond
often determined by the needs of the „normal‟ office hours.
business or service.
Shift swapping Employees can negotiate working Most suitable where services Not currently in practice within the
times to suit their needs and rearrange are provided to the public and Council
shifts amongst themselves or within for periods that extend beyond
teams as long as the needs of the „normal‟ office hours.
business or service are met.
Self rostering shifts Employees elect when they would like Mostly found in hospitals and Not currently in practice within the
to work. Once staff levels and skills for other care services Council
each shift are determined, the shift
pattern is compiled to match as closely
as possible the individual preferences
Term time working An employee has some unpaid leave Only suitable where the Not currently in practice within the
of absence in the school holidays. employee‟s duties do not need Council
to be performed all year round,
or where there is adequate
support and cover from other
Home-working / Tele- Employees who may work either all or Suitable for many groups of Ad-hoc arrangements currently in
working some of their normal contractual hours employees, depending on the place in the Council
from home. nature of the services they
provide. Useful where office or
parking space is in short supply.
Annualised hours The number of hours to be worked are Commonly found within Not currently in practice within the
calculated over a year and divided up manufacturing and construction Council
to fit in with peaks and troughs of work. industries.
Flexible Working Policy and Procedure - 12 -
Request for flexible working application form
Craven District Council
Name: Payroll No:
Describe your current working pattern (days/weeks/hours/months worked):
Describe the working pattern you would like to work:
Date you would like this to commence?
Describe what impact you think this change in working pattern will have on your
Service, Business Unit and colleagues:
Describe how you think the effect of your change on the Service/Business Unit and
colleagues can be dealt with:
Once completed, please pass this form to your Line Manager
For Line Manager and HR Services use only:
Date request received: Date of meeting:
Date request granted/refused: Date decision notified in writing:
For employees with a statutory right: Codes
Copy of child‟s birth Yes / No Evidence of child‟s Yes / No
certificate received: Disability received:
Appeal lodged? Yes / No Date Appeal received:
Date of Appeal meeting: Date of Appeal decision:
Manager’s record of flexible working request
Craven District Council
Please complete and return to HR services
Employee Name Employee Pay Ref:
Job Title Grade
Flexible Working Request Code (see below)
Date request received by manager Date of meeting
Date request granted/effective date Date decision notified in writing
Date request refused Refusal Code (see below)
Appeal lodged (if applicable) Yes/No Date Appeal received
Date of Appeal meeting Date of Appeal decision
If manager‟s request please insert FWO
Flexible Working Requests Codes
AR: Annualised hours
CR: Compressed hours
FTR: Flexitime request
HWR: Home-working part of duties
HWFR: Home-working full duties
JSR: Job-share request
PTRD: Part-time/reduced hours
TTOR: Term time working
Refusal Codes (statutory regulations)
RA: Any additional cost will impose a burden
RB: Agreeing to the request will have a detrimental effect in the ability to meet
RC: Agreeing the request will have a detrimental impact on quality of performance
RD: Management are unable to re-organise the work amongst existing staff
RE: Management are unable to recruit additional staff
RF: There is insufficient work during the period the employee proposes to work
RG: Management have planned structural changes
Manager‟s Signature Date