Your rights to flexibly working

What are your rights? And what are the benefits of flexible working

Who works flexible?

Any members can benefit from flexible working arrangements.  Including:

  • Parents – particularly those returning from maternity leave – wanting to combine family responsibilities with their working life.
  • Older members looking to reduce their hours prior to retirement;
  • Those combining work with caring for elderly or sick relatives;
  • Those with long term health conditions or disabilities - employers are required to consider flexible working options as part of their duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff and job applicants.
  • Members who undertake daily religious observance or a holy day.

See case studies for how healthcare staff have made flex work for them and their services

Your rights

Your statutory rights to request flexible working are laid out by ACAS, or Northern Ireland Direct.

  • If you work outside of the NHS you only have the legal right to two formal requests in any 12 month period. So it is usually worth making an informal approach to your manager first. it is also good practice for employers to be open to more than two approaches within a year, given employees’ personal circumstances can change at short notice.
  • If you don’t qualify for these rights (e.g. work as an agency worker) you can still ask your employer to consider a request.

Your contract or organisation’s flexible working policy may have more beneficial provisions. 

The NHS Terms and Conditions handbook, sections 33.3, 33.7 – 33.8 sets expectations for NHS staff in England & Wales. There are additional provisions covering women returning from maternity leave. See NHS Handbook Section 15.38-9.

NHS organisations will have local flexible working policies, which managers and stewards should make sure they are familiar with.

See #TalkAbooutFlex for more info and guidance.

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