1. Application

1.1 The term 'flexible working' describes any working arrangements where the number of hours worked or the time or place that work is undertaken vary from the standard practice.

1.2 Flexible retirement, an arrangement which is considered a type of flexible working, involves a member of staff reducing his or her contractual hours prior to retiring in full from the University. This may allow the individual to access part of their pension benefits while continuing to work for the University.

1.3 The policy sets out the University’s approach to flexible working arrangements and the procedure details the application process.

1.4 The policy and procedure provide a framework for developing individual flexible working arrangements that meet the requirements of the relevant employment legislation and enable the University to meet its commitment to promoting equality and diversity among employees.

1.5 Guidelines for employees and managers and details of different types of flexible working are available separately.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all employees who have:

  • worked for the University continuously for 26 weeks at the time the request is made.
  • not made another application in the previous twelve months, excluding flexible retirement resubmissions in accordance with paragraph 2.2

There may be exceptional circumstances where requests will be considered from employees who do not meet these requirements.

2.2 Where a request for flexible retirement is made which is subsequently determined as invalid under the relevant pension scheme, the employee may withdraw and/or modify the application. In such circumstances the employee may resubmit the application as soon as practicable after the original submission, the twelve month rule in paragraph 2.1 not being applicable to any such resubmission.

2.3 Additionally, for those employees considering flexible retirement, this policy applies to all employees who:

  • are not under probation
  • are eligible under the appropriate pension scheme rules for flexible retirement
  • have provided a minimum of six months notice of their intended flexible retirement implementation date

There may be execeptional circumstances where requests will be considered from employees who do not meet these requirements.

2.4 This policy does not cover individuals who are not currently employees but who are applying for a position at the University. Similarly existing employees applying for alternative positions with the University should do so on the basis of the working arrangements advertised and should not assume that it will be possible to maintain any existing flexible working arrangements.

2.5 This policy does not cover agency workers or members of the University's temp pool.

3. Aims

3.1 To ensure compliance with the legislative requirements

3.2 To provide a framework within which managers may meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to consider reasonable adjustments which might enable employees with a disability to continue working

3.3 To enable employees with caring responsibilities to balance them with their role at the University.

3.4 To accommodate where possible the desire of employees to balance their role at the University with other commitments or interests

3.5 To faciltiate flexible retirement, if appropriate.

4. General principles

4.1 The University of York recognises that flexible working arrangements can provide benefits to both the employer and employees. As part of its commitment to providing a positive working environment, the University is committed to enabling employees to achieve an appropriate work-life balance. At the same time the policy will support managers in developing a more flexible workforce in line with service needs.

4.2 The policy does not provide an automatic right to work flexibly and the ability of the University to provide an effective service will be paramount. It is recognised that not all working patterns or flexible working options will be suitable for all departments or sections. It may also be difficult to accommodate the flexible working requests of a number of employees in the same area.

4.3 There are already many employees who work flexibly as a result of informal requests made to their Department. This policy does not aim to change existing arrangements but to provide a framework which clarifies the process for managers and employees for the future.

4.4 The procedure that accompanies this policy, or associated policies – weblinks below - provide details of the flexible working arrangements that will be considered within the University:

The flexible working arrangements available to staff will be kept under review and, subject to feasibility, may be amended from time to time.

4.5 Requests will be considered with due regard to the University’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity among employees.

5. Monitoring and Review of Policy

Application of the policy will be monitored by the Director of Human Resources. The policy will be reviewed after four years.

6. Approval

This policy is not contractual and is not intended to be incorporated into individual terms and conditions of employment. It may be subject to review, amendment or withdrawal.

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  • Last reviewed: 28 February 2018