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Flexible Working in FBMH

The University recognises that flexible working can be beneficial to both staff and the University. Finding the right work-life balance is important for all of us in terms of motivation and commitment to our work. Here you can find resources to help you manage flexible working requests and flexible workers. On these pages you can find a range of resources to help you make flexible working, work.

If you are a manager and want more information about managing flexible workers or flexible working then visit the Managers Essentials Staffnet page.


What is flexible working?

Flexible working incorporates any working arrangements where the number of hours you work or the time or place that you work varies from the standard practice. The examples below outline common arrangements.

A different work pattern

Flexible working doesn't necessarily involve a reduction in hours, it can be about altering your working pattern, i.e. your start and finish times, either on a temporary or permanent basis. This may help you to manage your caring responsibilities, for example to enable you to do the school run some days.

Would this work? Some considerations...

  • what affect would this have on the service? 
  • is cover required at specific times?
  • how would this affect your colleagues?

A reduction in hours

Anything less than 35 hours a week is classed as part-time. This can be a reduction by working less hours each day or by reducing the number of days per week that you work. A reduction in hours should result in a corresponding reduction in workload.

Would this work? Some considerations.......

  • how can your workload be reduced? 
  • who will undertake the work you will be dropping?
  • how will this affect your colleagues?
  • does your work/department need to be covered every day?
  • when are the main times that colleagues/service-users need to contact you?

Condensed hours

This is where full-time hours are worked over fewer days per week which obviously means you would be working longer days. For example 35 hours worked over 4 days - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 8am - 6pm, Thursday 9am - 6pm.  Hours can also be compressed over a fortnight, e.g. working 70 hours (if full time) over 9 days. 

Would this work? Some considerations....

  • does your work/department need to be covered every day?
  • when are the main times that colleagues/service-users need to contact you?
  • does it suit the business needs for you to be there longer hours?
  • can your work be done outside of the normal work pattern?
  • would this affect your productivity/efficiency?
  • how would this affect your colleagues?

A shorter working year/term time only

For example working 10 months of the year instead of 12. Your salary, annual leave, etc, would be reduced accordingly but payments would be spread out evenly over 12 months. You would need to agree with your manager when you could take the 2 months of unpaid leave.

Term-time only is a similar arrangement, the difference is that staff are only required to work during term time and are required to take their annual leave outside of term time. Salary payments for the weeks worked and the proportion of annual leave are again spread out evenly over the 12 months.

Would this work? Some considerations.....

  • are there specific times of the year where there is less or no requirement for your work?
  • what would happen to your work if you were not there?
  • how would this affect the service?
  • how would this affect your colleagues?

Annualised hours

This is where you work an agreed number of hours over the year, but the number of hours worked each week/month may vary to accommodate fluctuations in your workload. Your salary payments would be spread out evenly over the 12 months. View Annualised Hours Guidance.

Would this work? Some considerations.....

  • do the demands on your service vary quite considerably?
  • are there troughs as well as peaks?
  • could you vary your working hours on a monthly basis or do you have regular commitments outside of work that would make this difficult?

Working from home

You may agree informally with your manager to work from home on an occasional basis.  To work from home on a regular basis requires a flexible working request.

Would this work? Some considerations....

  • could you work effectively and productively from home?
  • how much contact do you need with colleagues/customers?
  • do you have the technology/equipment needed to work effectively?
  • does your work/service need a personal presence or cover in the workplace?
  • how would this affect your colleagues?

Job share

Job-sharing is quite different from part time work where the employee is individually responsible for their work. Job-sharers share all of the responsibilities of the post which they hold jointly. Pay, leave, etc are split pro rata to the hours each work. Ideally each job sharer should work exactly half time.

There can be real advantages to bringing two skill sets to the role, but there needs to be good communication channels to make it work seamlessly regardless of which job-share partner is available.


Some departments operate a flexitime scheme for support staff. This requires staff to work core hours (usually 10am - 4pm) but they may vary their start and finish times (within set parameters) and may carry over up to 7 hours debit or credit into the next 4 week period. This enables staff to accrue up to a day off each month. View Flexitime Guidance.

Would this work? Some considerations....

  • this has to be available to the whole department and cannot be agreed on an individual basis.
  • does the nature of the service lend itself to this arrangement?
  • is there sufficient staff to provide cover?