4. Consideration of a flexible working request

The manager is responsible for considering the request (within 28 days), taking advice as appropriate (see Guidance for Managers for more information).

A flexible working request may comprise of one or more arrangements (for instance a reduction in hours and a change to daily hours of work), which should be considered collectively.

In some circumstances, it may only be possible to accommodate a request on a time limited basis, subject to review.

If the manager agrees that the request is an acceptable arrangement, which will benefit the department and the member of staff, they may choose to agree it without meeting with the staff member (See Below: Formal notification of the final decision).

Any agreement should be confirmed to the staff member, as soon as reasonably practicable (within 14 days).

Alternatively, the manager will arrange a meeting with the member of staff to discuss their application further.

At this meeting the member of staff may be accompanied, by a work colleague or by a representative from a recognised Trade Union.

The purpose of this meeting will be to:

  • Discuss the desired flexible working arrangements in depth;
  • Explore how best it might be accommodated;
  • Agree the terms of a Trial Period;
  • Consider alternative arrangements, should there be a problem in accommodating the proposed arrangements.

Each request will be dealt with individually by the manager, taking into account the likely effects that the proposed changes are likely to have on the University, the work of the department and the staff member’s colleagues.

Each request is to be considered individually and on its own merits and in balance with the needs of the department/University and the staff member’s needs. It is important to recognise that by the University agreeing to one employee’s request (either within the same department or another area of the University) will not set a precedent or create a right for another employee to be granted the same or similar change to his/her working pattern.

The manager should let the staff member know at the meeting if they need to take advice or undertake further exploration before they can notify the individual of their final decision.

Formal notification of the final decision

Once the manager has made a final decision about the staff member’s request, they will complete their section (part II) of the application form, copy this to the member of staff, and send the original to Human Resources.

Informal Arrangements

As informal arrangements will not require a change to the staff member’s employment contract, the completion of the application will form a local arrangement between the staff member and their manager. A record of the agreed details should be stored securely (see Data Protection Responsibilities).

Any arrangement should be regularly reviewed.

Formal Arrangements

Upon notification of the final decision, Human Resources shall:

  • Confirm to the member of staff, in writing, details of their amended contract of employment (with trial period condition if appropriate), including their new work pattern, a start date for the change;
  • Advise the Finance Department of adjustments required to the staff members salary and superannuation contributions; OR
  • Confirm in writing the business ground(s) as to why the staff member’s application cannot be accepted and reasons why the ground(s) apply in the circumstances (See Non-consent of flexible working arrangements).