With employment at an all-time high and a diverse population that’s fuelled by technology and a
24/7 culture, flexible working should be an integrated part of any employment strategy. It’s no
longer a ‘good to do’, but a ‘must do’. Those that don’t could risk missing out on the best candidates
for their organisations.
The aim of every employer should be to find the right candidate for the role, who will generate the
best results for the organisation. Creating an environment where the employee has the ability to
perform to their best is a crucial part of the equation.
So, what exactly is ‘flexible working’? It’s more than just a different start and finish time. There are
many different variants, so we thought we’d give you a quick run-down:
Flexible working hours
Start and finish times can be varied each day. Debit and credit hours can be rolled over to a new
month (usually a 4-week accounting period)
Annualised hours contract
The number of hours an employee is contracted to work is split over a full calendar year rather than
calculated by week. Longer hours are worked at certain parts of the year and shorter hours during
other periods. Variations in hours can be related to seasonal factors, school holidays or fluctuation
in demand for companies’ goods and service.
Employees work during the school or college term-time. Leave is unpaid but pay can be spread
evenly across the year.
A full-time position is divided, usually, between two people. Each employee works at different
times, but there may be some crossover.
Nine day fortnights
Individuals have one day off every fortnight. The day off may vary as long as the employee works
one five day week, followed by a four day week.
Four and a half day week
Typically, the employee works a half day on a Friday. The short day doesn’t have to be a Friday, but
it’s the most common day.
Zero hours contract
A person is not contracted to work a set number of hours and is only paid for the hours they work.
This is not an exhaustive list, as there will always be different requests based on personal
circumstances, but it should give you some idea of what to expect and what to cater for. Whatever
the agreed arrangement, it has to work for both the employer and employee.
For more information, check out the CIPD Megatrends report on flexible working: