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RIGHT TO REQUEST FLEXIBLE WORKING PROCEDURE

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					RIGHT TO REQUEST FLEXIBLE WORKING

           PROCEDURE




             January 2011




                            Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
Contents


1.    Introduction


2.    Eligibility


3.    Scope of a Request


4.    The Procedure


      4.1     Application


      4.2     Application Review Meeting


      4.3     Outcome


      4.4     Change to Terms and Conditions


      4.5     Appeal Process


      4.6     Appeal Hearing


Appendix 1 Flexible Working Application Form




                                               Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
1.   Introduction

     From 6 April 2003, parents of children aged under 17 (from 6th April 2009) and
     under 18 (from 6th April 2011), or of disabled children under 18, have the right to
     apply to work flexibly. The statutory framework requires employers to consider
     applications seriously (in accordance with Section 47 Employment Act 2002).

     The University recognises that this right will provide employees with more
     opportunities to balance work and family life, whilst being compatible with, and
     beneficial to, business efficiency.

     However, the University recognises that a number of its employees may have
     care responsibilities which extend beyond those of children aged under six, for
     example, children aged under 18, elderly relatives or someone with disabilities. It
     has, therefore, extended the eligibility criteria under the new right to include all
     employees with care responsibilities.

     The right encourages both the employee and the University 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 University is required to follow a specific procedure to
     ensure requests are considered seriously.

     This new right will enable employees with care responsibilities to request that
     they work flexibly. It does not provide an automatic right to work flexibly as there
     may be circumstances when the University is unable to accommodate the
     employee’s desired work pattern.

2.   Eligibility

     In order to make a request under this right an employee should:

     •   have completed 26 weeks service with the University at the date the
         application is made;

     •   have care responsibilities. A carer could be defined as someone who looks
         after a relative or friend who cannot manage without their help because of
         age, sickness, frailty or disability. Carers may or may not live with the person
         they are caring for, and may share the care with others in the family, or with
         professionals;

     •   not have made another application to work flexibly under the procedure
         during the past 12 months.




                                                           Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
3.   Scope of a Request

     Employees can request:

     •     a change to the hours they work;

     •     a change to the times when they are required to work;

     •     an alternative working location;

     This covers working patterns such as:

     •     reduced working hours (part-time working, term-time working, job-sharing,
           school hours working);

     •     changed working hours (compressed hours, annualised hours, flexi-time, shift
           working, staggered hours, self-rostering); and

     •     an alternative working location (homeworking, tele-working).

     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.

4.   The Procedure

     4.1      Application

     The employee should make a considered application in writing on a Flexible
     Working Application Form (Appendix 1).

     Employees are only able to make one application within a 12 month period under
     the right, and an accepted application will normally mean a permanent change to
     the employee’s own terms and conditions of employment.

     It will be important therefore that, before making an application, the employee
     gives careful consideration to which working pattern will help them best care for
     their dependant; any financial implications it might have on them in cases where
     the desired working pattern will involve a drop in salary; and any effects it will
     have on the University and how these might be accommodated.

     The written application must:

     •     state that it is such an application. A Flexible Working Application Form has
           been provided for this purpose;

     •     specify the change applied for and the date on which it is proposed the
           change should become effective;



                                                           Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
•     explain what effect, if any, the employee thinks making the change applied for
      would have on the department and/or University and how, in his or her
      opinion, any such effect might be dealt with;

•     state whether a previous application has been made to the University and, if
      so, when;

•     be signed and dated.

The employee should forward their application, in the first instance, to their line
manager with a copy to Human Resources. Upon receipt, the line manager will
return the Confirmation of Receipt slip to the employee and forward a copy of the
application to the Dean of Faculty or Director of Service, or appropriate line
manager. The line manager will also ensure that the appropriate Human
Resources Adviser has received a copy, in order to provide advice in this regard.

4.2      Application Review Meeting

The line manager will arrange to meet with the employee within 28 days of the
date on which the application is made.

An application is taken to be made on the date on which it is received by the line
manager.

Where the line manager, who would normally consider the application, is absent
at the time the application is received, the 28 day time limit will be extended to
the date falling 28 days after the date on which the line manager returns.

The meeting will provide the line manager and the employee with the opportunity
to explore the desired work pattern in depth, and to discuss how best it might be
accommodated.

It will also provide an opportunity to consider other alternative working patterns
should there be problems in accommodating the desired work pattern outlined in
the employee’s application.

The employee can be accompanied to the meeting by a representative who may
be a work colleague or union member if they so wish.

The parties can mutually agree an extension of time if required.

The line manager does not need to call a meeting where the contract variation
proposed by the employee is agreed and the employee is notified accordingly
within the 28 day period.




                                                       Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
4.3       Outcome

Within 14 days after the date of the meeting the line manager will write to the
employee, either:

•     agreeing to the application, and specifying the contract variation agreed to
      and the date it takes effect; or

•     refusing the application, stating which of the specified reasons apply, with a
      sufficient explanation as to why those reasons apply, and setting out the
      appeal procedure.

The University may refuse an employee’s application for a change in terms and
conditions where it considers that one or more of the following specified reasons
applies:

      •   burden of additional costs;

      •   detrimental affect on ability to meet customer demand;

      •   inability to reorganise work among 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 University will ensure it provides sufficient explanation to the employee of
why, in its opinion, the specified reason(s) applies to the business and why it
results in the refusal of the application.

There may also be occasions when the University will want to investigate further
before notifying the employee of their final decision.

4.4       Change to Terms and Conditions

The effect of an application being accepted will be a variation of the terms and
conditions of an employee’s contract of employment.

Any changes to an employee’s terms and conditions of employment will be
permanent, unless both the employee and the University agree otherwise. This
will allow employees to request a temporary change to their working pattern or
for the University to request a “trial period” of the new working arrangements,
which would be reviewed after a temporary period.


                                                         Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
4.5     Appeal Process

This procedure provides an employee with the right to appeal against the
University’s decision by giving notice within 14 days of the date on which notice
of the decision is given. The appeal process is designed to be in keeping with
the overall aim of the right of encouraging both parties to reach a satisfactory
outcome at the workplace.

The Appeal must be in writing and should clearly set out the grounds for the
appeal (for example, the request has been refused for a reason outside the eight
specified reasons or the decision to reject was based on incorrect facts).

The appeal should be made, in the first instance, as detailed below. Once
received by the authorised manager, a copy should be immediately forwarded to
Human Resources.

 Applicant:                 Application to:               Appeal to:
 Posts below AD             Line Manager                  Dean of Faculty or
                                                          Director of Service
 Associate Dean or          Dean of Faculty or            Executive
 Assistant Director         Director of Service
 Dean of Faculty or         Executive                     Vice-Chancellor
 Director of Service
 Executive                  Vice-Chancellor               Board of Governors



4.6     Appeal Hearing

A meeting to hear the appeal will be arranged within 14 days of the date on
which the notice of appeal is given by the employee. The time and place of the
meeting must be convenient to both the individual hearing the appeal and the
employee.

The employee can be accompanied to the meeting by a representative who may
be a work colleague or union member if they so wish.

Within 14 days after the date of the meeting the individual hearing the appeal will
give the employee notice of his/her decision on the appeal. This notice will be in
writing and be signed and dated by the person who heard the appeal. If the
appeal is upheld, the notice must specify the contract variation agreed to and the
date from which it is to take effect. Where the appeal is dismissed, the notice will
set out the grounds on which the dismissal is based.

The individual hearing the appeal does not need to call a meeting where, within
the 14 day period he/she upholds the appeal and notifies the employee of his
decision in writing. The notice must specify the contract variation agreed to and
the date from which it is to take effect.




                                                      Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
                                                                                             Appendix 1




              Flexible Working Application Form

1.      Personal Details:

Name:                 …………………………………………………………………..

Job Title:            …………………………………………………………………..

Faculty/Service:      …………………………………………………………………..

Line Manager:         …………………………………………………………………..


Note to employee:

You can use this form to make an application to work flexibly under the Right to Request
Flexible Working Procedure to help employees with care responsibilities. Before completing
this form, you should first read the University Right to Request Flexible Working Procedure and
check that you are eligible to make a request.

You should note that under the right it may take up to 14 weeks to consider a request before it
can be implemented and possibly longer where difficulties arise. You should therefore ensure
that you submit your application to the appropriate person well in advance of the date you wish
the request to take effect.

It will help the University to consider your request if you provide as much information as you can
about your desired working pattern. It is important that you complete all the questions as
otherwise your application may not be valid. When completing sections 3 & 4, think about what
effect your change in working pattern will have both on the work that you do and on your
colleagues. Once you have completed the form, you should immediately forward it to your line
manager in the first instance with a copy to Human Resources (you should also keep a copy for
your own records). The University will then have 28 days after the day your application is
received in which to arrange a meeting with you to discuss your request.



1a.     Application

I would like to apply to work a flexible working pattern that is different to my current working
pattern. I confirm I meet each of the eligibility criteria as outlined in the University’s Right to
Request Flexible Working Procedure.


1b.     I have / have not made a previous application under this right.

        If yes, please insert date of previous application ………………..……………….…..….


                                                                  Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
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/location worked):

……………………………………………………………………………………….………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………

………………………………………………………………………………………….……………………


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




3.     Impact of the new working pattern

I think this change in my working pattern will have the following effect(s) on the department
and/or University:

…………………………………………………………………………….…………………………………

………………………………………………………………………….……………………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………
                       (you may continue on a separate sheet if necessary)




4.     Accommodating the new working pattern

I think the effect(s) on the department and/or University can be dealt with as follows:

…………………………………………………………………………………….…………………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………
                       (you may continue on a separate sheet if necessary)


Name: …………………………………………………………. Date: ……………………….…………


NOW PASS THIS APPLICATION TO YOUR LINE MANAGER AND FORWARD A COPY TO HUMAN
RESOURCES.
                                                                  Right to Request Flexible Working.doc
  ……………………………………….……………………………………………………………………

Confirmation of Receipt

(Line Manager to complete and return to employee in order to confirm receipt of their Right to
Request Flexible Working application)


To     ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

       ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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

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 to be accompanied to the
meeting by a representative who may be a work colleague or union member if you so wish.

From: ………………………………………………………………………………………………………




                                                                  Right to Request Flexible Working.doc

				
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