We are just about to enhance our Flexi time framework and would be keen to know from others what they offer in terms of flex time.


  • Hi Nicola
    My old work offered flexi time which was great, but it was religiously stuck to we had to swipe in and out to ensure we weren't taking liberties. My current work has strick working hours however it's understood that we can leave early etc as long as we make the time up, it is not policed. This second type, of course, leads to quite abit of p-taking.
    Old works version worked really well, despite the heavy hand. We had core hours that we had to be in the office for 10-4, with 2 hour window for lunch, everyone could then pick and choose when they came in and left. So you could have a very short day if you wanted and then make it up when you wanted within the month. Swiping in and out meant that we all knew how much time we had under or over and could only carry over 2 hrs (I think) under or over to the next month.
    It worked great for appointments and what-not, but we also were allotted a number of hours/days we could take for health appointments without having to work them back. For instance, health provider/hospital booked appointments (rather than employee booked appts) in the middle of the day where rescheduling would be detrimental.
    Most of us scheduled our day around our bosses and staffing/cover needs as well as personal needs and traffic into consideration, most came in 9-5, a few 8-4 and a few 10-6. So the office was covered 8-6.
    It is something I really appreciated, and do find fixed-full office hours really weird now, as well as abit 'dark ages'.
    Hope that helps.
  • Hi Nicola,

    We are looking to introduce flexitime and I wondered if you'd come up with anything for your organisation in the end.
  • In reply to Lesley:

    Hi Lesley,

    Did you always have cover for a key holder to be onsite at 8am to open and 6pm to close or is there some other way that you did it?
  • In reply to Stacey:

    We didn't go ahead and enhance it in the end - this is our current framework, which is pretty basic.

    Flexitime Framework
    The Flexitime Framework provides guidance and it is not intended to be prescriptive or
    comprehensive. There are a large variety of different roles at the xx, so staff and managers
    will need to apply common sense and find ways to make it work in their areas of the business
    and for their job roles without losing the spirit or intentions of the framework.
    The intention is that it is available to all, but we recognise that it might not be viable for a small
    number of roles due to operational reasons.
    What is flexitime?
    We recruit and employ staff on the understanding that it will be necessary to carry out additional
    duties involving evening and weekend work as part of the xxx's work. We are pleased that
    staff are often highly committed and willing to be extremely flexible in the interests of
    conservation and the xxxx. In return, the xxxx must value its staff and manage them
    effectively, which includes taking account of their individual circumstances and capacities.
    Flexitime provides a framework to help balance the needs of the business, the team and
    individuals. It is important that the balance is appropriate for all three needs.
    Flexitime is a form of flexible working that enhances our other flexible working options that are
    available to staff. Flexitime is a system that allows staff to be flexible about their start and finish
    times where the business and job needs allow. The expectation is that flexitime will be used as
    and when staff have needs that require them to start or leave work earlier or later than normal to
    deal with personal commitments i.e.waiting for deliveries at home, going away for the weekend,
    attend school assembly etc.
    Flexitime might not be appropriate to all roles. For example, a member of staff might be
    required, as part of their job, to do a bird survey at 4am, so won’t be at work in the afternoon. In
    situations where roles do not fit in the usual office hours, staff should liaise with their line
    manager to ensure they get adequate time off at appropriate times and the spirit of this
    framework is applied to their working arrangements where possible. If flexitime is not
    appropriate to a role due to operational reasons, then staff should be given clear explanation as
    to why not.
    What is flexitime not?
    Flexitime is not about people turning up as and when they want to work – the needs of the
    business and the team have to be balanced with the needs of individuals. It doesn’t allow
    people to work their hours in a shorter number of days per week, work additional hours to boost
    their annual leave or make a permanent and regular change to their working hours or working
    If a member of staff would like a permanent and regular change to their working hours or
    working location, this may be possible, but it is a contractual change to their working
    arrangements and will need to be discussed with their line manager. If such changes are
    agreed, a written contractual change to their employment contract will then need to be issued.
    How does flexitime work at the xxx?
    • The flexitime framework allows an earliest start time of 7.45am, a latest finish time of
    6.30pm and a requirement for all staff to take a minimum lunch break of 30 minutes. Any
    hours worked outside of these flexi hours may be considered for TOIL or overtime if
    stipulated in the employment contract and agreed by the line manager.
    • Unless a different working pattern has been agreed, all staff are expected to be at work
    between 10am and 12pm and 2pm and 4pm on their agreed working days – these are
    known as core hours. The rest of the member of staff’s contracted hours can be worked
    flexibly between the flexi hours.
    • Part time staff who work part of a day can flex their hours when their contractual hours
    cover times outside of core hours.
    • Staff are expected to balance their number of contractual hours by the end of each week
    unless exceptional circumstances are agreed in advance with their manager.
    • There is an expectation that staff will work outside of core hours if their job requires it i.e. if
    there is a requirement for a member of staff to be at a meeting at 9am, they will need to be
    • There is an expectation that staff will work as part of their team and together they will
    ensure that working hours are distributed fairly. No individual has the right to work only the
    hours they personally choose as this may impact on other colleagues and impose less
    flexibility overall. All teams must ensure that their area of the business is sufficiently staffed
    at all times.
    • Staff are trusted not to abuse the system. Staff need to respect the trust that they are given
    and are expected to manage their own hours and working times responsibly and with
    consideration to others and their job.
    • Flexitime is a privilege rather than a right and the xxx reserves the right to remove a
    member of staff’s access to work flexitime.
    Flexitime FAQs:
    • Can a member of staff change their hours from week to week?
    A member of staff can’t change their number of contractual hours from week to week, but
    they can change their start and finish times and the length of their lunchbreak if their job
    and the needs of the business allow it.
    • Can staff count travel time in their flexi hours?
    Travel time to and from a normal place of work cannot be claimed as flexitime. Where a job
    requires staff to travel to a different place of work for a one-off occasion or on an adhoc
    basis, a maximum 2.5 hours flexi can be claimed for any travel time that is over and above
    the normal commute time i.e. equivalent of starting at the earliest start time and finishing at
    the latest finish time. Staff cannot claim both TOIL and flexitime for the same journey. If
    staff want to claim TOIL for travel time, please refer to the TOIL framework.
    • How will flexitime be recorded and managed?
    Flexitime will be operated on a trust basis. We do not expect staff to abuse this trust.
    As staff are required to balance their contractual hours by the end of each week, it is
    expected that staff and managers can manage these arrangements without the need to log
    and record flexi hours.
    • If staff need to take time out during core hours, is this annual leave?
    If a member of staff can’t be in work by 10am or needs to leave before 4pm, then they will
    need to book half or whole day of annual leave or take accrued TOIL.
    The only exception to this is for medical and dental appointments where it is acknowledged
    that it is not always possible to specify the time or length of appointments. Some staff will
    be entitled to time off for some appointments – for example please refer to the xxxx Disability Policy and entitlements under the xxxx Maternity Policy for ante natal
    appointments. Alternatively, some appointments may be able to be taken under the
    xxxxx's Special Leave policy.
    For all other appointments, it is expected that staff will book appointments at the beginning
    or end of the day or during non-working time wherever possible. For appointments, that
    require 2 hours or less out of the office, staff are expected to make this time up. For
    appointments that need more than two hours off work, staff are expected to record this as
    sick leave.
    • Are these arrangements for everyone or just those with children?
    They are for everyone.
    • Do staff need to apply for flexitime?
    Staff don’t need to apply, but they do need to discuss their needs with their colleagues,
    ensure there is adequate cover and that the business and team needs are fulfilled. Each
    team will need to find a way of operating flexitime that works best for them.
    • What is need/point of core hours?
    For some parts of the business, this is a new and different way of working that will take
    some time to embed. By having core hours it gives some guarantees about people’s
    availability and when they can be contacted.
    • Do staff have to take flexitime? Some staff don’t mind working extra hours and are
    happy to give this to xxx.
    Of course not - there is no obligation on staff to take flexitime which may be owed to them,
    if they don’t want to - it is their personal choice.
    • How does flexitime and TOIL work together?
    Flexitime is intended to be used for the odd hours when staff need to stay an extra half an
    hour to get a piece of work finished urgently for the next day or a personal commitment or
    appointment that means that they can’t come into work until 10am. It would be appropriate
    for flexitime to be used to go to a dental appointment, attend your child’s assembly, accept
    a delivery at home, attend a solicitor’s appointment etc.
    TOIL is intended to be used for bigger chunks of work when it is agreed that someone will
    work outside of their contracted hours to do or complete a specific piece of work, usually in
    the evenings or at a weekend. It would be appropriate for TOIL to be used when giving an
    evening talk/guiding an evening walk at a reserve, helping run an event at a weekend when
    it is not your normal working hours, doing work to fix/upgrade IT services in the evening to
    avoid minimum disruption to the business etc.
    Examples of how flexitime works in practice:
    Alison’s normal working hours are 9am – 5.15pm Monday to Friday with a 45 minute lunch
    break and her normal commute time is 15 minutes. She goes to a meeting on Tuesday, has a
    15 minute drive to the station and gets on a train at 8am and gets back to the station at 6pm.
    She could take back the 1¾ hours by:
    • Coming in at 10am and going home at 4.30pm on Wednesday, or
    • Taking an 1¼ hours for lunch on Wednesday and leaving at 4pm on Friday.
    Peter’s normal working hours are 8.45am – 5pm Wednesday to Sunday with a 45 minute lunch
    break. He needs to leave for a doctor’s appoint at 4pm on Thursday. He could make up the
    hour by:
    • Coming in at 7.45am on Wednesday, or
    • Working until 5.30pm on Friday and Saturday, or
    • Having a 30 minute lunch on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • In reply to Nicola:

    Thank you Nicola, that's a great help. We start our discussions tomorrow to see if it's something we're going to introduce.