Human Resources

Flexi-time

What is flexi-time?

A flexi-time scheme allows staff to have an element of flexibility over their working hours. It involves flexible start and finish times around ‘core working hours’ (when attendance is required) and within the limitations of the ‘bandwidth’ (the earliest and latest times between which hours can be worked) allows staff more choice, subject to the operational requirements, over their working hours.

Eligibility

Subject to the operational needs of the University to deliver services effectively and where Departments choose to introduce the scheme, flexi-time is available to all staff apart from: 

  • casual workers
  • staff whose contracts require the working of specific fixed hours (e.g. staff working shifts) 
  • academic staff (academic staff already have flexibilities within their contract)

The normal working hours pattern for a full time member of staff is:  

  • Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.20pm, and
  • Friday 9.00am to 5.10pm

There is one unpaid hour for lunch.

Other definitions are as follows:

  • Day:   7 hours 20 minutes (7 hours 10 minutes on Fridays)
  • Half day:  3 hours 40 minutes
  • Week:  36 hours 30 minutes

This does not prevent departments setting different working hours patterns for their full-time staff, in order to best meet the operational requirements of their work.

Core and flexible hours

All full-time staff are expected to be present undertaking their duties during the core hours which are defined as follows:

8.00am

10.00am

flexible

10.00am

12.00pm

core

12.00pm

2.00pm

flexible

2.00pm

4.00pm

core

4.00pm

6.00pm

flexible

These are the standard core hours for full-time staff to whom this scheme applies and should be used for normal working arrangements.  They can be varied by those departments who wish to operate flexi-time but would need to vary the specified core and flexible hours in order to best meet the operational requirements of their work and the service that they provide. Although there is a standard scheme, implementation is in a flexible manner to suit the operations of individual departments or sections. 

The purpose of the scheme is to allow members of staff to effectively manage their work commitments and their personal commitments.  Subject to the operational requirements of the service, full-time staff may work flexibly during ‘Flexible’ hours for their department. Part-time staff may, subject to the exigencies of the service, work flexibly if part of their working day falls during ‘Flexible’ hours.

Flexi-time differs from Time off in Lieu (TOIL) which can only be accrued through additional hours worked requested or approved in advance by a line manager or a set requirement to undertake additional hours of work. This would normally be in relation to a specific activity or piece of work. 

Principles of the scheme

  1. Participation in any scheme adopted in a Department or Section is optional and staff may elect to maintain their ‘normal’ working hours.
  2. Staff who, by the nature of their contract i.e. part-time hours, or those with working patterns or on shift patterns where they are required to undertake duties at a particular time, may be unable to benefit from the scheme.
  3. It is not a contractual right and can be reviewed at any time, including on an annual basis or when staff leave/join the department or University.  It may be amended or withdrawn if there is a detrimental impact on the delivery of the service.  If arrangements are changed these will be given in writing. 
  4. It does not alter the existing definition of a working week, defined as 36.5 hours per week and it does not affect overtime working.
  5. In line with University policy, all staff working more than five sequential hours a day must take a minimum of a half hour break which is not counted within the flexi-time scheme i.e. it is taken in staff’s ‘own time’.  For young people under the age of 18 years, a minimum break of half an hour is required after four and half hours in accordance with the working time regulations. 
  6. Hours must be recorded and approved in quarter of an hour segments.
  7. ‘credit’ hours accrued as a result of the scheme must be taken as flexi leave
  8. a maximum of one working day of ‘credit’ hours can be carried into the next four week period
  9. hours must be accrued in advance of taking flexi leave as there is no debit process
  10. Any staff who resign from the University are expected to clear any credit or debit flexi-time before leaving.
  11. its success relies upon the trust between staff and their manager and the individuals using the scheme.

Operating the scheme

  1. Any request to take more than one hour of flexi-time in any one day should be agreed by the line manager in advance.  Staff are encouraged to approach their team informally to discuss their request and operational needs prior to consulting their manager.  They should be mindful of busy periods within the academic year and their department.
  2. A request may be refused if minimum staffing levels cannot be maintained as this may cause undue pressure on the remainder of the team.  Appropriate staffing levels will be determined by the Head of Department/Head of Professional Service.
  3. Annual leave and then TOIL should always take priority over flexi-time.
  4. If staff wish to take a full working day off to use flexi-time accrued they must make a request to their line manager normally not less than seven days in advance.
  5. All staff participating in the flexi scheme must keep a clear and accurate record of hours worked, including lunch break on a Flexi time Sheet.
  6. Flexi records should be reviewed by the line manager on a four weekly basis and a record should be kept for up to 3 months.
  7. Time taken for medical/dental appointments is covered in the Sickness Absence Policy.