1. Preamble
  2. Principles
  3. Working Hours: Definition
  4. Working Hours: Flexibility
  5. Working Hours: Deficit/Excess
  6. Flexitime Leave
  7. Working Hours: Records
  8. Working Time Records: Adjustments
  9. Sickness during flexitime leave
  10. Appointments outside Core Hours
  11. Overtime
  12. Training and notice periods


In April 1996 Council agreed that Guidelines on Flexible Working Hours to be adopted by Departments when implementing flexitime schemes in the future. Schemes in existence before that time may continue in their present form, but any future amendments to those schemes should be in accordance with the procedures and practices recommended in the Guidelines.  

As part of the Framework Agreement implemented on 1 August 2006 the scope of the Flexitime policy was extended to make flexitime available to all staff within the University. The principles agreed are detailed in section 1.

1 Principles

1.1 The University is committed to the promotion of a healthy work-life balance for all its staff and welcomes the contribution that the use of flexitime working arrangements can make in this regard. Flexitime can also allow participants to work in more effective ways that will be of benefit to the university as well as themselves.

1.2 Flexitime arrangements will be made available, as far as practicable, to all university staff (including both full-time and part-time employees). It is acknowledged, however, that;

  • 1.2.1 some may choose to retain their current working arrangements, rather than enter the flexitime scheme;
  • 1.2.2 some may have to be excluded, owing to the nature of their duties, or because they receive payments to reflect different working arrangements. The decision on this matter lies with the Head of Department.

1.3 If staff members are dissatisfied with a decision to withhold flexitime arrangements, they can invoke the University’s standard procedures in order to have this decision reviewed.

1.4 The services provided by the Department must not be compromised to accommodate the flexitime scheme. Departments participating in a flexitime scheme shall be responsible for adapting it to fit their operational needs. Adaptations should accord with these principles and the published guidelines.

1.5 Departments reserve the right to suspend flexitime for a set period to meet operational requirements. Advance notice will be given when this is to occur. Such suspensions could be set annually or may be ad hoc in nature.

1.6 It is expected that staff will work and operate flexitime schemes within their departments in a fair and harmonious manner.  

2 Working Hours: Definition

2.1 Working hours are those that contractually apply to the individual member of staff. For full-time staff the working week is 37 hours, giving a notional working day of 7 hours 24 minutes and a notional half day of 3 hours 42 minutes.  

2.2 Part-time staff working hours are calculated on a pro-rata basis. Part-time staff may be included in the flexitime scheme subject to the caveat that their part-time status may already represent the maximum degree of flexibility allowed by local conditions.

2.3 Each new member of staff should discuss with his/her Head of Department/Section whether flexitime operates within that particular Department/Section and if so what the arrangements are for that specific post.

3 Working Hours: Flexibility  

3.1 Working hours may be divided into bands of core time and flexitime. Unless away from work for some specific reason (annual leave, illness etc) staff are required to be present during core time bands, but, subject to conditions, may start and finish work at their discretion during flexible time bands.  

3.2 The table below contains example core time bands. These can be varied by departments to take into account operational requirements.

The core time bands are

  • 10.00 am - noon
  • 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Flexible time bands are

  • 8.00 am - 10.00 am
  • 12.00 noon - 2.00 pm
  • 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm

3.3 A break, 30 minutes minimum, will be incorporated into the working day; this will normally fall within the 12:00 to 2:00 time band.

4 Working Hours: Deficit/Excess

4.1 Although the contractual weekly hours will remain unchanged, flexitime will normally be calculated on a 3 month period (Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, Oct-Dec). Schemes may allow a deficit/excess of up to 32 hours. The deficit/excess can be carried forward to the next accounting period. Any excess over the stated amount (up to 32 hours) will be lost at the end of the accounting period.  

4.2 Staff with a deficit of flexitime hours on termination of employment will have the deficit hours charged against outstanding annual leave or, if there is no leave outstanding, will have their final pay adjusted to cover the deficit. Staff with an excess of flexitime hours on termination of employment will be paid their excess hours at single time rate, if it is not possible to take these hours as flexitime leave prior to termination of employment.

5 Flexitime leave  

5.1 In addition to the freedom provided in starting and finishing work, flexitime may allow for 3 additional flexi-leave days to be taken in a 3-month accounting period. The leave may be taken as full days or half days. Credit will be in accordance with the notional working hours defined in section 2. Detailed arrangements for taking flexitime leave will be in accordance with established departmental procedures for taking annual leave.  

6 Working Hours: Records

6.1 It is expected that staff working flexible hours will record their working hours using an electronic recording system or a spreadsheet. However, some departments may prefer to use a paper-based system. Time recorded will be to the nearest minute. It should be noted that deliberately falsifying a time record or keying in for another employee is misconduct which will be dealt with in accordance with the normal disciplinary procedure.

6.2 Data produced by the system will be available to relevant members of the department's management team (typically Heads of Department and Departmental Administrators).

7 Working Time Records: Adjustments  

7.1 Departments will implement appropriate procedures for adjusting recorded time. Examples of occasions when time will need to be adjusted will be annual leave, sickness absence, working away from the University.  

8 Sickness during Flexitime leave

8.1 Notification of sickness absence whilst on flexitime leave should be made as soon as practicable and should adhere as closely as possible to normal sickness notification procedures within the department. Sickness absences for all flexitime leave days should be accounted for by medical certification and in these circumstances self-certification will not be accepted.

9 Appointments outside Core Hours  

9.1 Staff benefiting from flexitime are required, so far as is reasonably practicable, to arrange personal appointments at a time outside core hours. Examples of such appointments are routine visits to the dentist, doctor, optician, bank, school or a professional adviser. In an emergency or when an appointment cannot be made outside core time bands (e.g. a hospital appointment to see a consultant) a member of staff will normally be credited with the core band time even though absent.

10 Overtime

10.1 Flexible hours working is wholly independent of any arrangements for working overtime. Excess hours worked as flexitime are not overtime. If any additional hours are to be worked as overtime this should be agreed in advance with the formal authorisation of the relevant member of the departmental management team. Overtime is not recorded for flexitime purposes.  

11 Training and notice periods

11.1 Before implementation on a permanent basis, each location should pilot the scheme for at least three months and usually six months. The pilot may identify local problems that will need to be addressed before the scheme can be implemented on a permanent basis. Exceptionally the pilot may lead to the conclusion that the scheme is not appropriate for that location. Any decision to withdraw flexitime either after the pilot or at a later date will be subject to the test of reasonableness, and any staff remaining dissatisfied with a decision can invoke the University’s standard procedures in order to have this decision reviewed.

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  • Last reviewed: 31 October 2016