The Department operates a family-friendly policy, including provisions for flexible working, timetabling, workload modeling, and the overarching departmental culture. We are strongly committed to ensuring that all staff and students are afforded equal opportunities and excellent work-life balance.
The Department supports the use of flexible working arrangements for staff across all grades, including part-time working, job shares, and flexi-time. Members of staff are encouraged to speak with their line-managers and the Head of Department if they feel that a flexible working arrangement would be beneficial for them. There are several examples of successful flexible and part-time working across our staff.
‘Flexible working’ describes any working arrangement where the number of hours worked or the time or place that work is undertaken vary from standard practice, and involves a contractual change. Under university regulations, all staff have the right to request flexible working provided that they have worked at the University for 26 weeks.
‘Flexi-time’ can be formal or informal and there is no need for a contractual change. It allows staff to have a variable work schedule based around core working hours, and is agreed with the Head of Department and/or line manager.
Both the University and the Department are committed to equality and diversity and, where operationally and financially viable, will support staff in their wish to work on a flexible basis.
The Department ensures that all required meetings take place between the hours of 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM, ensuring that staff with childcare responsibilities can always attend. Research group meetings have now been moved to within core hours on Friday, and we have specific assistance from the timetabling office to avoid scheduling teaching after 5:00 PM. Individual staff can request timing restrictions to be 'hard-coded' into their timetable (e.g. no teaching after 4:30 PM.)
The Department has been a pioneer in workload modelling within the University, having employed a formal, robust, fine-grained, and transparent workload model for over 15 years. Our workload management system allocates time for teaching, marking, pastoral, administrative, and research responsibilities for all academic staff, offers time-based incentives for research grant applications and taking on major external responsibilities, and accommodates time buyouts for successful research grants. All academic staff are given one full-year sabbatical in every four years, in which teaching and administrative duties are removed and reallocated.
The department is dedicated to creating a family-friendly culture beyond working policies and university regulations. Departmental parties in the winter and summer and receptions at the beginning of the year and the end of term are open to all students and staff and their families.