Flexible Working Policy & Procedure

North Wales Police Flexible Working Policy & Procedure Not Protectively Marked Flexible Working Policy & Procedure Governance: Policy Owner: Departm...
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North Wales Police

Flexible Working Policy & Procedure Not Protectively Marked

Flexible Working Policy & Procedure Governance: Policy Owner: Department: Policy Writer: Policy Number: Effective Date: Review Date:

People & Logistics Committee Head of Business Services People Services Human Resources 102 Version: 20/08/2015 20/08/2018

2.0

1. Policy Aim The Force is deliberately seeking to create a more diverse workforce because of the benefits it brings to the organisation and in delivering a service to the communities of North Wales. This policy and procedure aims to retain and motivate individuals who might otherwise leave the organisation by encouraging consideration of new ways of working and providing them with the flexibility to adapt to changing personal circumstances. This policy sets out guidance about what flexible working is, who can apply and how to apply. It includes any legislative requirements and incorporates relevant points from the Police Regulations 2003. The policy aims to support everyone to have the opportunity to continue with their career whilst balancing home responsibilities and work commitments. 2. Policy Statement In line with all Force Policies, the overarching purpose of this document is to directly support the North Wales Police and Crime Objectives. Overall the intention of this policy is to provide a Safer North Wales. This Policy also supports our People Strategy by helping to develop flexibility around working patterns to support our staff and their wellbeing and serve the public. In the writing of this policy cognisance has been taken of the College of Policing Code of Ethics (2014). NWP policies will be written in accordance with the approved corporate format and published on the Force Intranet, allowing access to staff and, where appropriate, on the pages of the public facing Internet site under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 3. Scope Policy considerations extend to all Police Staff and Police Officers who may apply for flexibility in their work pattern, whether on a permanent or temporary basis. 4.

What Is Flexible Working?

Flexible working is a working arrangement which gives flexibility on how long, where, when and at what times employees work [CIPD, 2014). Arrangements that could be considered include: • •

Job sharing – two people share a job and split the hours between them Part-time hours/reduced hours – working less than full time hours

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• • • • • •

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Term-time working – the individual works increased hours during term-time to enable them to work less hours during school holidays. Compressed hours – working full-time hours but over fewer days Working from home Annualised hours – a set number of hours are worked over the year, but there is flexibility about when the hours are worked. This could mean that there are core hours that the individual works each week and the remaining hours are more flexible. Staggered hours – normal hours with different starting and ending times Fixed shifts – an individual may request to work the same shifts rather than rotating between early, late and night shifts. Who Can Apply For Flexible Working

The Flexible Working Regulations 2014 changed the legislation so that everyone can make a flexible working request (subject to the below conditions) and it must be considered by the organisation. It is important that individuals are aware that each case will be dealt with on an individual basis taking into account the needs of the applicant as well as the operational needs of the Force. 5.1

Probationary Constables

Probationary Constables cannot apply for flexible working during the training phase, as this is scheduled and delivered within fixed time frames on a full time basis and must be completed before progressing to the tutor phase. If an application is made after this time and hours are reduced then the date on which the probationary period would end should be re-calculated. Regulation 12 of the Police Regulations 2003 describes the calculation to apply in this case. 5.2

Police Officers

Apart from probationary constables, the Force can consider one or more flexible working requests from an officer within a 12 month period. 5.3

Police Staff

The Employment Rights Act 1996 states that Police Staff are required to have at least 26 weeks of continuous employment in order to make a flexible working request and are limited to making one flexible working request every 12 months. However, the Force can consider one or more flexible working requests from an individual within a 12 month period. 6.

How To Make A Flexible Working Request

For detailed guidance on the procedure to follow for flexible working requests and where to find a Flexible Working Request Form, please refer to Appendix 1 contained within this Procedure. All written requests for flexible working will be fully considered by the Force and a written response provided. A decision and any Appeal Process must be concluded within three months of submission of the application.

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What To Consider When Making A Flexible Working Request

It is the responsibility of the individual making the flexible working request to consider the impact of their request on the Force’s service to the public, the impact on their department and on their colleagues. Their considerations must be outlined in the relevant section of the Flexible Working Request Form. This will assist the Force when considering whether the request can be accommodated. Guidance for Line Managers on flexible working is provided in Appendix 2 below. 8.

What To Consider Before Granting An Application

8.1

The Force needs to ensure consideration is made to health and safety issues particularly for lone workers or those working extended shifts, and any impact on the health and safety of the individual or their colleagues.

8.2

In considering the business reasons the Force must be careful not to discriminate against particular employees because of their protected characteristics. Where flexible working is requested as a reasonable adjustment in relation to a disability, this should be dealt with in accordance with the Working With A Disability Policy and not in accordance with this policy.

8.3

When considering a flexible working request from a Police Officer, if they cannot be accommodated in their existing role, their application should be considered with respect to other police officer roles in the Force. The relevant HR & Training Support Officer (HRTSO) will be responsible for liaising with the other HRTSO’s to identify any possibilities.

8.4

If a request is rejected it must be for one of the following business reasons and the rationale should be fully documented on the flexible working application form. • • • • • • • •

9.

The burden of additional costs An inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff An inability to recruit additional staff A detrimental impact on quality A detrimental impact on performance Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand Insufficient work for the periods the employee proposed to work A planned structure change to the organisation Granting A Flexible Working Request – Rules Applicable

If a flexible work pattern is agreed with an officer it may still be the case that exigencies of duty require their rest days or free days to be cancelled on occasion in the same way that officers with a flexible work pattern may be required to adjust their leave or shifts. Please refer to Police Regulations 2003 in relation to adjustment to duties. If the flexible working request includes a request for agile working, then the Line Manager and individual making the application should refer to the Agile Working Procedure within the Information Management Strategy. 102/2.0

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9.1

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Pay

Police Officers and Police Staff who work part-time or job share under a flexible working agreement will be paid an annual salary which is pro-rata to the hours worked by a person working full-time. Police Officers and Police Staff who work part-time or job share under a flexible working agreement will receive incremental increases in the rates of pay in the same manner as a person working full-time. All allowances for Police Officers and Police Staff are calculated on a pro-rata basis, with the exception of reimbursed expenses, which should be paid in full subject to Police Regulations 2003 and Police Staff Terms and Conditions of Service. If an individual changes their hours as a result of a flexible working agreement and is paid shift or weekend working allowance as part of their role, the allowances should be reviewed to ensure that they are paid pro-rata for the number of shifts and weekends worked under the new flexible working agreement. 9.2

Overtime

Individuals on reduced hours will only qualify for overtime rates when the weekly hours worked are in excess of the normal weekly full time hours worked by a comparable full time equivalent. Please see Police Regulations for further details regarding Police Officers and Police Staff Conditions of Service for Police Staff. 9.3

Leave

Police Officers and Police Staff working part-time or job share under a flexible working agreement will receive pro-rata holiday entitlement dependent upon number of contracted hours, rank/grade and length of service. 9.4

Benefits

Individuals who change their hours as part of a flexible working agreement should be aware that the following will be affected: 9.4.1 Pension – Police Staff: Contact Gwynedd Council for advice 9.4.2 Pension – Police Officers: Contact Mouchel for advice 9.4.3 Bank Holiday Entitlement – for Police Staff the entitlement to be paid for a Bank Holiday is on a pro-rata basis. This means that where a Bank Holiday would normally be a working day, the individual is only credited with a proportionate amount of Bank Holiday leave based on their hours of work. This means they may build up a deficit for which they will need to work additional hours to make up. Police Officers working part time also receive a similar pro-rata credit based on an 8 hour day.

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9.5

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Change of Role

If an individual has applied for a particular role they are not automatically entitled to continue with their current flexible working arrangement. If they are successful in their application, the relevant Department Head should review their existing flexible working arrangement and discuss whether it can be accommodated in the new role. 10.

What To Do If your Flexible Working Request Is Rejected

If the application has been rejected, the SSF will confirm this in writing and advise the individual that they may choose to appeal under the Appeals Procedure within the Equality, Diversity and Fairness Policy. Please refer to Appendix 1 below for further details. 11.

Reviewing Flexible Working Agreements

The Line Manager will regularly review the work pattern with the individual and discuss any changes that may be necessary which will be balanced between the operational needs of the Force, the requirements of the individual and in the case of Police Staff, contractual implications. Particular circumstances where a review may be required are where the individual changes role and the organisation asks to review their flexible working request; during times of organisational change or re-structure or where a change of role or location alters the individual’s circumstances and they require a review of their agreement. It will be the responsibility of the relevant HR representative to review all flexible working agreements within their respective business area on an annual basis. The HR Business Partner lead for Flexible Working will be responsible for monitoring at Force level to ensure adherence to Employment Legislation and the Force Equality and Fairness at Work Policy. 12.

Changing A Flexible Working Agreement

12.1

Police Staff

An individual with a flexible working agreement in place must submit a new flexible working request if they wish to change their existing agreement. A staff member who wishes to return to full time hours or increase their hours will not have an automatic right to return full time/increase hours if they are working reduced hours in the post they hold. If they are in a job share situation then the job share partner will continue to work reduced hours in the post and every effort must be made by the Force to find another job share partner. The staff member wishing to return full time or increase their hours may have to take another post, following an application process, (in the same grade), if there is no possibility of increasing their hours within their current role.

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12.2

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Police Officers

The Police Regulations 2003 set out the rights regarding officers who have worked full-time hours then reduced to part-time hours. It sets out their right to give notice of their intention to return to full-time hours and their right to be appointed as full-time: 12.2.1 Within 2 months of the date the notice is received by the local policing body, where the body has a suitable vacancy, or; 12.2.2 If there is not a suitable vacancy then when 4 months have elapsed since the day the notice was received, or from an earlier date if reasonably practicable. An officer is not required to revert to full-time hours from part-time or vice versa without their consent. If an officer with a flexible working agreement in place wishes to change their existing agreement and none of the points above apply then they must submit a new flexible working request for consideration. 13. Medical Conditions and Flexible Working The Attendance Management Policy sets out the detail in relation to agreeing recuperative and restrictive duties where an injury or medical condition prevents an individual from temporarily performing their full duties, which may include a temporary reduction in hours. For Police Officers, the Limited Duties Procedure within the Attendance Management Policy sets out the process which applies where an officer is permanently restricted and unable to complete their full hours or role. For Police Staff, where it has been confirmed that an individual will be restricted and unable to complete their full hours on a permanent basis, in order to retain them in their substantive role, the Line Manager may have to negotiate a flexible working agreement. Through mutual agreement between the individual and their line manager, adjustments to their working hours can be made in order to facilitate retention in their substantive role, and this will be granted under the following conditions: • • • •

Objective and justifiable health and safety risk assessment Salary would be pro rata to that of full time colleagues On no less favourable terms to that of full time colleagues Favourable consideration should be given to remain within area of expertise

14.

Training and Development and Flexible Working

14.1

Access to training is essential if individuals are to work effectively and NWP is to make the most of its workforce. Individuals should not be disadvantaged simply because of their flexible working agreement. In cases where the training course cannot be tailored to suit the flexible working agreement and other options are not possible then sufficient notice should be given in order to make appropriate arrangements.

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14.2

Any extra hours worked when attending a training course should be paid at the relevant rate or alternatively time off in lieu/flexi taken.

15.

Monitoring

This policy is governed by the People & Logistics Committee, will be owned by the Director of Business Services and monitored through the post of HR Business Partner Lead for policy. The policy is to be reviewed at intervals no later than that determined by the Policy Risk assessment tool. This Policy and linked procedure will be monitored by the Strategic HR Board through the Head of People Services. 16.

Legal Requirements

The following main legal requirements have been identified within this policy: • • • • • • • • •

Human Rights Act 1998 Data Protection Act 1998 Freedom of Information Act 2000 Health and Safety Act 1974 Equality Act 2010 Part Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 Flexible Working Regulations 2014 Employment Rights Act 1996 Police Regulations 2003 (Regulation 5, 12, 22)

This policy has been written giving due regard to the above legislation and has considered the risk of unfair and/or disproportionate impacts on individuals or groups (actual or perceived) and has done so via an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA). New Legislative requirements or changes in Force structure may necessitate a review of this policy document. 17.

Relevant Documentation

Documentation Details & Links Police Regulations and Determinations 2003 Gov.uk flexible working guidance The Flexible Working Regulations 2014

Applies To: Police Officers only Police Staff but general guidance applicable to Police Officers Police Officers and Staff

Employment Rights Act 1996

Police Staff only

College of Policing Guidance on Flexible Working in the Police Officers and Staff Police Service CIPD Factsheet – Flexible Working June 2014 ACAS Guidance on Flexible Working For further information about HR topics, policies and All conditions of service please see the HR SharePoint Page. 102/2.0

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Appendix 1 – Flexible Working Request Process Step 1

Detail An individual wishes to make a new flexible working application or wishes to change their existing flexible working agreement. They should have initial informal discussions with their Line Manager about the request.

Whose Action Individual

2

The individual should fill in a Flexible Working Request Form setting out the request (click on link or also available from the Intranet, from the Human Resources Intranet Page)

3

The application form should be emailed direct to the Line Manager, the relevant SSF HR Team and to Resources Management Unit (RMU). The SSF HR Team are responsible for ensuring that steps 4 – 8 are carried out within a three month period from submission of the request.

4

RMU will carry out an operational impact assessment of the request and detail their comments on the application form before emailing the form to the Line Manager.

Resources Management Unit

5

The Line Manager will review the request and the assessment from RMU and fill in the Impact and Rationale section of the application form. This will then provide the necessary information to discuss with the individual in a face to face meeting.

Line Manager

6

The Line Manager should hold a meeting with the individual to discuss the request and try to reach agreement. Notes of the discussion should be made on the application form and the suggested decision in relation to the request noted in the relevant section of the form.

7

The Line Manager should email the completed form along with a copy of any shift pattern to the relevant SSF HR Team and relevant Chief Inspector (or Department Head) for a decision.

8

The relevant management team representative (Chief Inspector for LPS, Flex Work Panel for Crime Services and Department Head for other areas) should review the application form and suggested decision from a district/departmental perspective and endorse with their comments as to whether they agree with the suggested decision of the Line Manager. The form should then be emailed to the relevant SSF HR Team, relevant Field HRTSO and the Line Manager.

Management Team

9

The relevant SSF HR Team will then confirm the changes in writing to the individual, inform Payroll of any changes of hours and confirm the changes to the relevant Duties team. A written response to all flexible working requests should be provided within three months of the individual making the application.

SSF HR Team

If the application has been rejected, the SSF will confirm this in writing and advise the individual that if they wish to appeal, this can be done under the Appeals Procedure within the Equality, Diversity and Fairness Policy.

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Appendix 2 Guidance for Individuals and Line Managers – Flexible Working Managers must give full consideration to requests for flexible working and where possible explore how a request can be accommodated. The key to successful management of flexible working is negotiation. The process of negotiation may be time consuming and complex but it is in the interests of the organisation, the manager and the individual making the request to make every effort to come to an agreement, which is acceptable for all parties. Managers must ensure that they are fully aware of the personal circumstances of the individual requesting a change in working hours. Each case will be examined individually on its own merits. Where an individual makes a flexible working request the manager should complete the relevant section of the Flexible Working Request Form in full and consider if there are any good reasons why the post cannot be carried out in line with the request. Managers should take the following into account: • • • • • • • • •

Does someone need to be present in the post during all hours of work? Can the post be filled as a job share? Can all the necessary work be done in the hours requested? Can the job be redefined to make it easier to do reduced hours? Is there another post within the department or force that could accommodate the individual’s needs? Could the request be accommodated for a trial period to see if it meets the needs of the individual and organisation? How much would it cost to recruit and train a replacement if the individual left? What benefits would the organisation get from such an arrangement? What are the individuals personal circumstances?

The responsibility for negotiating a reduction in hours or flexible working does not just sit with the manager. The individual should also think through the situation and prepare a plan before entering negotiation. Both parties should be prepared to be flexible in seeking a successful solution that is of benefit to everyone. Neither the individual nor the manager should try to impose their preferred working option. Any agreed working pattern should be initially reviewed by the line manager within 3 months of commencement and thereafter annually.

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