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Flexible working examples

Part-time hours

If a member of staff works less than the full-time hours it is classified as part-time hours. Any part-time working agreement must take into consideration the needs of the wider service.


Flexi-time allows members of staff to vary their actual working hours outside certain core hours within the day.

Flex-time means staff can vary their start and finish times in order to accommodate domestic, travel or other arrangements outside of work. Staff are still required to work their contracted hours but may 'flex' when these hours are worked.

Members of staff can also build up a credit or debit of hours within a defined period, although a limit is normally set on how many hours can be accrued.

Term-time contracts

School term-time contracts enable members of staff to work within school hours and term timetables, to allow child care to be balanced.

Term-time contracts would involve a reduction in salary for the time spent out of the organisation and extended unpaid holidays to coincide with school holiday periods. Salary is usually paid in 12 monthly instalments.

Annualised hours

Under this scheme a member of staff agrees to a set number of working hours for the year which will be worked on a flexible basis.

Annualised hours is an excellent way to match supply and demand if the area or work has predictable fluctuations in activity over different periods.

It is important to set minimum and maximum working hours during a week to ensure that employees remain compliant with the working time directive. The impact of the scheme on benefits and entitlements such as pension, maternity leave, sick pay and annual leave must be clarified at the start.

As with flexi-time, there must be a robust system in place to record working hours on an ongoing basis.

Job share

Job sharing usually means two people voluntarily sharing the duties and responsibilities of one full-time job.

There are two forms of job shares:

  • Shared responsibility where both members of staff undertake all the tasks and responsibilities of the post, or
  • Divided responsibility where the two members of staff divide up all of the tasks and responsibilities between them


There are two types of homeworking:

  • Ad-hoc homeworking occurs when a member of staff requests to work at home occasionally and irregularly for a specific purpose. In this definition, the office remains the main place of work
  • Flexible homeworking is where a member of staff has applied for, and received, line manager approval to spend a regular and substantial proportion of their working time as a mix of office based and homeworking. The member of staff is considered a homeworker during the period of time when working from home

Career break

An unpaid career break can be requested by all members of staff provided they have a minimum of 12 months service. A career break can be for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 5 years.

Career breaks may be taken for a number of reasons, such as providing short, medium or long-term support to the family or to further personal development and learning opportunities. Reasons are not limited and a manager should consider all requests.

Compressed hours

Working compressed hours means members of staff are permitted to work their contractual hours over a shorter week or fortnight.

Contracted hours must still be worked but can be distributed over fewer days.

Variable working time

Variable working allows a member of staff to either reduce or increase their normal hours of work by an agreed amount for an agreed period of time, without having to make a permanent change to their contractual working hours.

Variable working time arrangements may be useful to:

  • assist a staff member who needs to deal with changed personal commitments for a temporary period of time, or
  • enable staff to respond to a manager’s need to cover a short-term peak work period
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