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Flexitime allows staff to vary their start and finish times to accommodate domestic, travel or other arrangements outside of work.

The department sets the core hours that the member of staff must be at work but enable staff to flex their working hours around the core times.

Staff are still required to work their contracted hours but can flex when some of the hours are worked. This can help staff manage their work and personal commitments.



  • allows the needs of the department to be met with no hours lost
  • offers flexibility to staff to balance personal commitments
  • is a working pattern that can be supported across a team that enables the agility to meet service demands and extend operating hours

Points to consider

  • Does the role have peaks and troughs which would lend itself to flexitime working and not have an adverse effect on service needs?
  • Making flexitime a success requires close cooperation between work teams to ensure the department remains adequately covered
  • Flexitime staff may be required to record their worked hours. Consider how this can be completed and reviewed to avoid it become overly administrative

Working hours

Working hours are divided into two bands:

  1. Core time
  2. Flexitime

Managers agree the core hours where staff must be at work and then agree the parameters around flexibility in hours worked outside of these core hours. For example:

  • Flexitime arrival: 07:00 – 10:00
  • Core hours: 10:00 – 16:00
  • Flexitime finish: 16:00 – 18:30

Staff can choose to start at 08:00 and finish at 16:00 or choose to start at 10:00 and finish at 18:00 to work around when they are most productive or for their commute. Staff can also work from 08:00 – 17.00 one day, to enable them to work an hour less the next day so they can attend a commitment outside of work.

Credit and debit of hours

Flexitime gives managers the discretion to build principles around crediting and debiting hours. The principles should be set out by the line manager according to the needs of the service prior to the start of flexitime working.

Credit of hours

Flexitime allows staff to build up credit ( i.e. where they have worked over their contracted hours for that week). Any accrued hours of credit must be taken as flexi leave and are subject to the following:

  • Hours must be accrued in advance of taking flexi leave
  • Request for more than one hour of flexitime in any one day must be agreed with the line manager in advance. Requests may be refused if minimum staffing levels cannot be maintained
  • Set a maximum number of credit hours that can be built up and a timeframe for when the credit hours must be taken within.Any hours not taken within the agreed period will be lost
  • Credit hours should not result in a pattern of regular time off from work (i.e. every other Friday afternoon) as this is not flexitime but a set schedule of working hours

Important note: flexitime is independent of any overtime work arrangements. Excess hours worked as flexitime are not overtime. Any additional hours worked as overtime should be agreed in advance with formal authorisation from the relevant manager.

Debit of hours

Debit hours means a member of staff has worked less than their contracted hours during the week.

Managers will set a maximum number of debit hours that can be built up within a week and the member of staff would be expected to work the debit hours during the following four week time period.

Important note: Staff with a flexitime deficit of hours on termination of employment will have the deficit hours charged against outstanding annual leave or, if there is no leave outstanding, will have their final pay adjusted to cover the deficit.

If a member of staff repeatedly falls into deficit hours this may lead to the staff member being removed from flexitime working and required to work the standard working day work pattern.


Pay and benefits are not affected as staff member’s contracted hours are worked.

Any additional worked hours will not be paid and would be expected to be taken during a specified period as agreed within flexitime principles. Credit balances of accrued flexitime are not classed as overtime.

Before agreeing a request

Key considerations include:

  • What are the busiest times that would require all staff to be in? Is there flexibility outside of these hours for staff to be more flexible in when they are working?
  • If credit and debit of hours is agreed, how much can be accrued or owed in one period?
  • How are staff going to record the hours that they work or are owed and how regularly does this need to be reviewed?

Managers can use the attached ‘Flexitime Principles’ guide for setting expectations and parameters when introducing Flexitime across a team.

After agreeing to a request

Worked hours should be recorded on a weekly basis and monitored on a monthly basis to ensure that at year end, the member of staff is on track to have worked the annual contracted hours.

Regularly review wellbeing and monitor workloads with regular communication and check ins taking place.

Flexitime working should be reviewed at every 12 months to ensure it is working for the service needs as well as the member of staff.

Note: Working longer days will impact how annual leave is taken. For example, if a member of staff is working a 9 hour day, to book annual leave for a one full day they would need to use 9 hours of annual leave.

Top tips

Flexitime is a flexible working pattern that could be supported across a team to enable better agility to meet service demands and extend operating hours.

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