Topics

Flexible working

Felicity Alexander

Editor's message: While planning for future work organisation, many employers will be reflecting on their experience of temporary flexible working arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These include the switch to working from home and flexibility around hours to help employees commute outside busy times, home school or have more choice on working hours generally. Employers may be expecting employee requests for permanent flexible working arrangements.

Based on their experiences and business needs, employers may consider a full or partial switch to homeworking for staff and flexible arrangements such as compressed hours (full-time hours over fewer days), annualised hours (fixed number of annual hours with core hours), job sharing and changes to start and finish times (flexitime). Agile working, a term used to describe a method of adaptable working that can respond quickly to business need, can include flexible working arrangements.

Providing opportunities for homeworking and flexibility on hours may be advantageous for employers in terms of reducing the need for workspace and increasing productivity from employees. Giving staff greater control over their work-life balance can also have a positive impact on their general health and wellbeing.

Employers should adopt a fair and consistent approach for flexible working for their workforce that avoids a potential discrimination claim. A permanent change to working hours or location will require a variation to employment contracts.

Felicity Alexander, managing editor, employment law

New and updated

  • Date:
    10 February 2021
    Type:
    Podcasts and webinars

    Podcast: HR, the pandemic and the future of the workplace

    Gemma Dale, HR professional and lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, joins us to talk about the crucial role HR has played in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the future of the workplace.

  • Date:
    3 February 2021
    Type:
    Case studies

    How Orbit Group introduced a "post-pandemic" homeworking programme for 850 employees

    Orbit Group talks to XpertHR about WorkSmart, a programme to allow staff to continue to work from home even when there are no coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in place.

  • Date:
    1 February 2021
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Employment law changes: Seven major proposals that may progress in 2021

    Many proposed employment law changes that the Government has put forward in the last few years have stalled, mainly as a result of the focus on Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. Which proposals could be resurrected in 2021 and what would they mean for employers?

  • Date:
    22 January 2021
    Type:
    Survey analysis

    HR roles survey: Response to the coronavirus pandemic and priorities for 2021

    The response of the HR community to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been to put people first, while also supporting business continuity during exceptional circumstances. It is unsurprising then, that wellbeing tops the priority poll for the profession for the coming year, coupled with employee engagement.

  • Date:
    19 January 2021
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Working remotely from abroad: What employers need to know

    With the shift to homeworking as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some employers have received requests from employees to work from home abroad. What issues do employers need to be aware of when approached about working from home overseas?

  • Date:
    13 January 2021
    Type:
    Podcasts and webinars

    Podcast: Key 2021 employment cases HR should know about

    We highlight key cases due to be decided this year and discuss their impact on HR. These include cases on: worker status, holiday pay, the national minimum wage and sleep-in care workers, trade unions and collective bargaining, and equal pay.

  • Date:
    8 January 2021
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    Is remote working here to stay?

    Nick Martindale investigates the long-term changes to working patterns and the future of the workplace following the changes brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  • Date:
    8 December 2020
    Type:
    News

    Majority of roles still not advertised as flexible

    Four in five jobs still do not advertise flexible working options despite the huge shift to home working during the pandemic, according to research by Timewise.

  • Date:
    24 November 2020
    Type:
    News

    Work from home advice could continue until Easter

    Employees are likely to be encouraged to remain working from home until at least Easter 2021, when it is hoped that a combination of a tighter "tier" system, further testing and the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations will have "driven down" the coronavirus infection rate.

  • Type:
    How to

    How to consider alternatives to redundancy during the coronavirus crisis

    Updated to reflect that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended and the introduction of the Job Support Scheme has been delayed.