Decision Maker: Human Resources Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Updated flexi policy, now has a new title and
has removed prescribed working hours for some areas
The Human Resources Manager presented the new Working Arrangements and Flexi Time Policy. She informed Members that following consultation with the Trade Unions, the Policy had been presented to the Joint Consultative Panel at its meeting on 12 March 2019 and it had received full support and been recommended to the Human Resources Committee for approval.
The Human Resources Manager explained that the 'people work-stream' of Phase 1 of the Customer Connect Programme was nearing completion and the Working Arrangements and Flexi Policy had been reviewed to enable new ways of working more flexibly and to be in line with customers’ requirements. In order to achieve this, flexibility would be increased around working arrangements for the vast majority of the Council. This meant that existing core working hours would be removed. Access to services between the hours of 8.45 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. would remain, however, not all employees would work within the rigidity of these times. Employees would be able to start earlier or later than 8.45 a.m. and finish earlier or later than 5.00 p.m. However, services would have to be covered by employees during the Council’s opening hours. The Human Resources Manager informed Members that, due to their prescribed hours, Street Scene employees at the depots were unable to use the Flexi Time Scheme.
The Human Resources Manager highlighted that the report stated that if approved the Policy would be implemented with effect from 1 April 2019. However, it had been proposed to delay implementation to take effect from 1 October 2019 which would allow the Customer Connect Phase 1 transition to take place and the opportunity to train those recruited to the new Team Leader posts.
The Human Resources Manager went on to explain that flexibility in the workplace would allow the Council and its employees to make arrangements for working hours that suited the Council, its customers and employees. This would support the service provision and also promote and maintain a healthy work/life balance for the Council’s employees. This type of flexibility had countless benefits which, in turn, would lead to the improvement of productivity and efficiencies. It could also lead to increased employee morale, engagement and commitment, to the enhancement of employment reputation and, ultimately, to the Council becoming an employer of choice in the area. In addition it could lead to staff retention and reduced turnover. The flexible working arrangements supported the agile model and provided a clear leadership vision around the creation of an environment that was built on trust. However, such flexible working arrangements could be open to potential abuse and it was highlighted that the aim was to manage any breach of trust and confidence on a case by case basis.
The Human Resources Manager clarified that the Policy also included the existing arrangements surrounding the accrual of flexi and that it did not replace an employees’ statutory right to apply for flexible working.
Discussion took place in respect of home working and lone working and the impact on the social wellbeing of staff and the Human Resources Manager and the Chief Executive responded to questions raised by Members.
RESOLVED – That the Working Arrangements and Flexi Policy at Appendix 1 to the report be approved for implementation with effect from 1 October 2019.
Report author: Kerry Johnson-Metcalfe
Publication date: 30/04/2019
Date of decision: 26/03/2019
Decided at meeting: 26/03/2019 - Human Resources Committee