Flexible working rights for NHS staff

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In detail
Flexible working rights for the NHS [Illustrations: Paul Oakley]

The NHS Staff Council has agreed new flexible working arrangements which will become part of the NHS contract from 13 September.

They go significantly further than the current NHS contract and statutory rights to requesting flexible working.

The CSP agreed the new provisions with other health care trade unions and NHS employers.

The new contract will give NHS staff the right to make:

  • day one requests for flexible working when starting with a new employer, removing the six-month qualifying period required by law.
  • an unlimited number of requests for flexible working over the course of the year.
  • flexible working requests without providing justifications or specific reasons.
  • The new agreement also requires NHS employers to work with trade unions and agree a standard approach for staff to lodge appeals following unsuccessful requests.

NHS trusts will also be expected to:

  • subject their flexible working policies to an equality impact assessment.
  • collect and publish data relating to the flexible working requests made by staff.

These contractual changes will cover NHS staff in England and Wales, with similar initiatives expected in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The CSP is now working with other health unions to develop guidance, which will accompany the new contract, for NHS employers.

Find out more

The CSP’s Building Better Balance resource raises awareness about flexible working. The toolkit will be updated later this year to reflect the new contract.

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