Leave, absence & working arrangements
Flexi-Time Scheme for Loughborough University Staff
Introduction and rules
Normal office hours should operate in a way that ensures a 37 hour working week. Your own working hours are subject to agreement by your Line Manager.
The Flexi-time Scheme allows employees in staff grades 1-5, within the rules of the scheme, reasonable scope to vary their start and finish times to suit their personal circumstances and business needs, so long as they fulfil their overall commitment to work an average of 37 hours per week over a four week period. The scheme works two ways and therefore employees may on occasion be required to work longer hours to meet organisational need.
The scheme applies to all members of staff grades 1-5 who are expected to work normal office hours. The only exceptions to this will be certain agreed categories of staff, for example pool attendants, where use of the scheme would not be compatible with operational constraints or staff who work on a shift system.
The scheme is offered as a privilege and is not part of the conditions of service. It may be withdrawn from individuals if abused.
Basics of the scheme
All full-time employees must work 148 hours during the four weekly accounting period (equivalent to 37 hours per week), adjusted to take account of annual leave days, public holidays and university closure days. Subject to a requirement to be in the office during core hours (see below) they may adjust their start and finish times within a defined range (see below) so as to fulfil this total.
They may carry over any surplus up to a maximum of 8 hours from one four week period to the next. Any deficit, up to a maximum of 3 hours, should also be carried over. Deficits of over three hours are not allowed under the scheme.
Part-time employees are also required to fulfil their four weekly total hours (eg. 22.5 hours per week x 4 = 90 hours). The same carry over rules apply as to full-time staff and are not pro rata for part-time employees.
All employees must present during core hours each day, which are 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Subject to building opening hours and any relevant health and safety considerations, employees may start work between 7.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m., and finish between 4.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. Hours worked outside these times cannot be counted towards flexi-time totals.
Attendance patterns on a day to day basis will be subject to agreement with managers and colleagues in the light of anticipated workload.
All employees must take/record at least 30 minutes break at lunchtime.
The scheme allows employees to vary their start and finish times to suit their personal circumstances, therefore employees will be able, on a day-to-day basis and in agreement with their colleagues and HoD/Line Manager/Supervisor, to work flexibly within the non-core hours.
In addition, those employees who have built up a surplus of hours may use these to take additional leave (flexi-leave) which does not count against their contractual annual leave entitlement. A maximum of one day, or two half days leave may be taken during each four week period, for part-time staff the full or half-day total maybe less than 7.4 hours.
All flexi-leave will be at the discretion of the HoD/Line Manager/Supervisor and where necessary, arranged in liaison with colleagues within the department.
Carry over of surplus hours
A maximum of 8 hours may be carried over from one four week period to the next. Any surplus in excess of 8 hours will be lost.
Surplus hours do not count as paid overtime, which, if available, must be agreed in advance and should not be recorded on flexi-time records.
Sickness/Absence/University closure days/Public Holidays
Time recorded for these days will be the normal contracted hours that an employee would have usually worked that day eg. 7.4 hours for full-time staff.
Should an employee have been intending to work additional hours on a day which they were unable to work due to sickness, then the daily hours recorded will be at the contracted hours total.
Recording of hours
Start and finish times, annual leave and public holidays are recorded on a time sheet which is available as a computer spreadsheet, covering the four week period. Employees must keep track of their hours on a daily basis. At the end of the period total hours and any carryover are calculated - the spreadsheet does this automatically.
For full-time employees working 37 hours per week each day is calculated as 7.4 hours, regardless of which day it is, for instance a University closure day falling on a Monday is 7.4 hours, a days annual leave taken on a Friday would also be 7.4 hours.
Recording half day start and finish times
For full-time staff wishing to take half a days flexi or annual leave, hours should be calculated as 3.45 hours eg. 9.00 a.m. – 12.45 p.m. or 1.45 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Doctor, dentist and hospital appointments
Routine doctors and dentist appointment must be taken outside core hours. Where exceptional circumstances dictate, an appointment that is taken inside core hours must be recorded manually at the end of the four weeks in order that the time is made up and recorded as a deficit.
Hospital and antenatal appointments may be taken in core time, employees would not be expected to work additional hours to make the time up. However, where possible and to avoid disruption, employees should try to arrange appointments for either end of their working day. Copies of hospital appointment letters may be requested.
The completed flexi spreadsheet should be signed by the employee and checked and countersigned by their line manager/supervisor.
The supervisor should check that the attendance recorded is accurate, to their knowledge, and that university holidays and leave days have been entered. The latter is particularly important in the case of the spreadsheet, since if these entries are not complete the final analysis will be wrong.
The sheet should be retained by the employee for a period of 12 months.
Management of the scheme
The line manager/supervisor should ensure that details of the scheme are communicated to eligible employees, that they have the appropriate documentation to complete, and that he/she receives the appropriate timesheets for countersignature and that they are an accurate record.
If required, the HR Department will provide appropriate training for managers in the operation of the scheme and will provide general assistance in its implementation. Please contact the relevant HR contact for your department.
Further development for flexible working
The Human Resources Committee has agreed that there may be scope for extending the flexible working schemes and HR will be examining the possibility of other initiatives such as seasonal, compressed and annualised hours along with working from home.
Flexi-Time Scheme for Loughborough University Technical Staff
Guidelines for flexi-time working
The following guidelines augment the existing Loughborough University Flexi-time Scheme and have been drawn up following the experiences learned from the Pilot Scheme run last year in the Department of Civil and Building Engineering. They are designed to take into account the specific operational circumstances that relate to Technical Staff within the University whilst allowing Technicians to enjoy the benefits of the Flexi-time Scheme.
The scheme allows staff to vary their start and finish times to suit their personal circumstances, provided that:
- The overall commitment to work an average of 37 hours per week over a four week period is fulfilled.
- Attendance, cover and leave rules are followed (see below).
- Departmental, team and individual commitments are met.
- Health, Safety and Environmental issues are not compromised.
- Legal, statutory and procedural obligations are maintained.
Core and non-core hours
Core Hours:- 10:00am to 12:00pm and 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
Flexi-time hours :- 8:00am to 6:00pm.
All employees must take/record at least 30 minutes break at lunchtime.
Working non-core hours
Non-core hours must be worked between 8:00am and 10:00am, 12:00pm and 2:00pm and 4:00pm and 6:00pm. Hours worked outside these times will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and line managers must approve all such activities. Staff who are required to start work before 8:00am, or finish after 6:00pm must enter the details in the “out of hours” book, “late working” register or equivalent Departmental record.
All staff must consider the Health & Safety implications of any activity undertaken outside the “normal” 8:30am to 12:30pm, 1:30pm to 5:00pm working day. Technical staff that wish to carry out practical work, e.g. use of machinery, outside these hours must consult with their colleagues to ensure that they are not working alone and that someone is also working in the same area. The only activity that is excluded from this is Administration/Desk work.
Staff will be expected to give their Line Managers reasonable notice of their intention to change their working hours pattern. Individual daily variations of start and finish times are not acceptable within the Technician Flexitime scheme.
Flexi-leave must be taken as either one full day or half day only. The leave must be treated as annual leave in terms of advance notice and cover.
Line Managers should be given reasonable notice of the intention to take flexi-time leave and/or annual leave.
In order to take account of specific operational difficulties during term time, Technicians may be able to accumulate a maximum of 3 days flexi-leave during the Autumn (October to December), Spring (January to March) and Summer (April to June) terms. These 3 days must be taken before the start of the respective new term. In the case of the Summer term, this time slot extends from June to October but the maximum accumulated flexi-leave remains at 3 days.
All routine health related or other appointments (eg. doctors, dentists opticians, solicitors, etc.), should be made outside the core hours of 10:00am and 12:00pm and 2:00pm and 4:00pm wherever possible. These appointments will normally be taken in an individual’s own time.
Exceptions are: eg. maternity antenatal appointments, hospital appointments and specialist/routine appointments. These type of appointments may be taken in core hours and recorded as working hours.
Days recorded as sick-leave will be shown as normal working hours.
- Technical staff must plan their “practical” work with colleagues.
- Technical staff must be available for all practical classes in their area. Given the operation of the flexi-time scheme, academic staff are asked to provide the technical staff involved in the classes with reasonable notice of their intention to hold practical classes/lab sessions. These details need to be available to the technicians so that they, in turn, can plan their schedules in order to fulfil their obligations.
- Academic supervisors of laboratory based final year student projects must inform the students concerned that flexitime is in operation, and that if they wish to discuss their project with a member of the technical staff, then they are required to contact the technician concerned and make an appointment.
- In circumstances where technicians are required to work together as part of a dedicated team and are mutually dependent upon each other, for example, on a particular designated project, the team must agree common hours for the duration of the project.
Staff who are required to work weekends or hours exceeding 37 will be given time off in lieu, for which, separate records will be kept.
Staff will be responsible for filling in their own flexi-time form on a daily basis, and for submitting the completed form to the line manager at the end of each 4-week period.
For ease of management, staff are encouraged to use the electronic flexi-time format for recording their attendance.
The system will enable Line Managers/Supervisors to check individual forms at any time. Individuals will not be able to access each others attendance records.
As with any scheme, there will be situations that arise which fall outside the aforementioned guidelines. In such circumstances, individuals should make their case with their Line Manager/Supervisor, who will deal with the issue on its’ merits. In the event of a failure to reach agreement, the matter will be referred to the Head of Department.