The University recognises the need to provide flexible employment options which give staff choice over their working hours subject to the overriding operational needs of the University to deliver services effectively. In line with this recognition, requests for flexible working will be considered carefully and sympathetically. An integral part of this consideration is to ensure that any flexible arrangements agreed meet the business needs of the University and the operational needs of the area of work and department and do not impact negatively on work colleagues, students or on service delivery.
The University is committed to developing work practices and human resource policies which contribute to staff well-being, and which can improve individual and business performance through greater diversity and increased levels of engagement from all staff. It also recognises that it is helpful to have clarity around the different types of leave.
Whilst there is no automatic right to flexible working, the University recognises the contribution of such arrangements to the retention of skilled staff and encourages managers to be as accommodating as possible to individuals wishing to vary their work patterns and to give fair and thorough consideration to all requests, provided that the needs of the University, service, students and work colleagues are also met. It also encourages members of staff when requesting flexible working to work with their line manager to find a solution which suits their needs and meets the needs of the service, students, team and those with whom the individual/team interacts.
This policy applies to all staff although some options may only apply to certain groups of staff, for example flexitime. It is an important part of the University’s strategic aim from its People Strategy to ‘develop recognise and value an engaged, diverse and high-quality workforce’. The policy sets out all flexible working options at the University, categories of leave, and the procedure for applying to work flexibly.
Absence Without Leave − It should be emphasised that any leave including the flexible forms of leave set out in this policy must be requested and approved prior to being taken. Staff must ensure that any leave has been approved before they take it. If staff take time off when no leave has been approved, then the member of staff will normally be classified as being absent without leave (sometimes referred to as AWOL) for which pay will be withheld and which will normally be investigated as a potential misconduct under the University’s Disciplinary policy and procedure.