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Part time working is when a member of staff works less than full time hours (37.5 hours per week). There is no minimum number of hours that must be worked; these will be agreed at a department level based on the number of hours required for a role to be delivered efficiently and effectively.

Staff can request part-time working for many reasons including, but not limited to:

  • Supporting care arrangements
  • To peruse further education or hobbies outside of work
  • Winding down for retirement
  • Improving work-life balance


  • Supports staff who have knowledge and skills to bring to the role but cannot work full-time hours
  • Allows staff greater flexibility for dependent care, further study and improved work-life balance
  • Can fill gaps within the service for reduced cost, when a full-time member of staff is not required
  • Retains staff experience and knowledge when they no longer want to work full-time

Points to consider

  • Reduction in salary which may affect pension contributions and final benefits
  • How will work be covered or distributed when the member of staff is not at work?
  • Is there any impact on provisions for cover or annual leave arrangements when the member of staff is not at work? If so, how can these be overcome?

Top tip: Consider whether a job share may be beneficial for staff reducing their working hours. For more information on job share, please visit:

Working hours and patterns

Working hours and patterns should be agreed between the member of staff and manager. The hours agreed should take into consideration service needs and wellbeing.

Dependent on staff and service requirements, hours can be reduced by:

  • Working shorter days
  • Working fewer days a week
  • Or a combination of both


Salary and pay related benefits, listed below, are reduced to a pro-rata amount for part time staff:

  • Pay awards
  • Death in-service
  • NHS Pension Scheme
  • Redundancy pay
  • Annual leave
  • Sick pay
  • Maternity pay

Before agreeing to a request

Managers and staff will need to review the below when considering a reduction in hours:

What work will be:

  • stopped?
  • reduced?
  • pro-rated?

How work will be:

  • allocated?
  • reorganised?
  • shared amongst the rest of the team?

What key days or hours are required for the member of staff to work? It is important to ensure an appropriate balance of skills and experience across the team and service.

What are the key deliverables of the role? When do they need to be completed? Can they be accommodated by the part-time request?

After agreeing to a request

After a request is agreed, existing formal objectives should be reviewed and amended where necessary. This is to reflect the reduced working hours and that an alternative timescale may be required or work reprioritised.

Regularly review wellbeing and monitor workloads, objectives and targets. Ensure that regular communication and checking in takes place.

Working hours should be reviewed and the staff member should not be regularly working outside their hours. Steps should be taken to address this if it is occurring.

Team meetings should be reviewed and held on days when everyone is available. If there is not an option for everyone to attend team meetings, consider rotating the meeting days or times so different team members can be present. There should also be a process to follow up with staff members who are unable to attend to ensure information is shared and discussed (i.e. via email, one-to-one meeting or an online space for sharing).

Wellbeing support services should be shared with staff regularly and staff encouraged to make use of them in the same way as full-time colleagues.

The working pattern should be reviewed at least every 12 months to ensure it is beneficial for the needs of the service and the member of staff.

Practical tips

A HR2/ESR2 form needs to be completed to reduce the member of staff’s contracted hours on ESR for payroll. It is recommended that this is completed in a timely manner to avoid overpayments.

If a member of staff is reducing their hours part way through an annual leave year, their annual leave entitlement will need to be recalculated. The annual leave calculator can support with this:

If the member of staff owes hour, mutually agree how these could be worked back.

Top tips

If a team has multiple part-time workers, it may be helpful to agree protocols around the team activities listed below. Why not get the whole team involved in working together to create and agree the protocols?

  • How do we want to communicate as a team, what tools will be utilised to keep everyone updated. For example, Microsoft Teams, emails, phone calls
  • How often do we want to meet and how. What topics should be covered in meetings
  • How will we regularly update each other on work
  • How will we communicate when we are available, or on a non-working day
  • What times are we able to be contacted from and to when at work, and what are the best keeping in contact methods
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