Are you Flexibly Friendly?

This is the final week of our July focus on Health and Well-Being. This week we are looking at flexible working and family friendly policies.

When I speak with Entrepreneurs about the reasons why they started their companies, flexibility almost always comes up, whether it is to able collect the children from school, watch their favorite teams home and away games or take a holiday 8 times a year!

Obviously if you are the boss, you can make your day work for you, but that may be different for those that work with and for you. Being able to work flexibly is a really great perk to offer your staff and for more and more individuals it is becoming a deal breaker.

All employees has a legal right to ask for flexible working once they have completed 26 weeks of employment. Flexible working can come in many forms including:

  • Job Share – Splitting a role between two individuals
  • Working from home – Performing all or part of their role from home
  • Part time working – Reducing the contractual days or hours a person works
  • Compressed hours – Working the same contractual hours in less days
  • Flexi-time – Working core hours, but flexing the start and end times

Employers have to reasonably consider the application and make a decision within 3 months.

If the request is agreed, it should be confirmed in writing, with a start date and any contractual amendments made.

You can reject applications for the following reasons:

  • Extra costs that will damage the business
  • The work can’t be reorganised among other staff
  • People can’t be recruited to do the work
  • Flexible working will affect quality and performance
  • The business won’t be able to meet customer demand
  • There’s a lack of work to do during the proposed working times
  • The business is planning changes to the workforce

Again, this would need to be communicated to the individual in writing. While there is no obligation to allow an employee to appeal the decision, it would be best practice to do so, as you could be taken to employment tribunal if an individual believed that their applications wasn’t being treated fairly and it would be good to be able to evidence a best practice process.

Giving your staff some flexibility around their working times and location, can reap massive benefits for your organisation from a point of view of motivation, retention and work quality.

What flexible policies do you currently offer to your team members?

The link to the blog on this subject is here.

This is the last blog on health and well-being. Do let us know which subject has been most useful for you this month and what changes you have implemented.

For August we will be looking at building our leadership skills.