Flexible working FAQs
The following information summarises the key points in relation to Flexible Working at Queen’s University. These should be read in conjunction with the Flexible Working Policy which can be viewed here.
What is flexible working?
Requests to work flexibly may include a change to hours worked or a change to the working pattern. Part time and job share working are examples of flexible working opportunities provided by the University (see Annex 2 of Policy for examples).
Who is eligible?
- The member of staff must have worked continuously for the University for not less than 26 weeks at the date of making application.
- Statutory Right: staff with children under seventeen, disabled children under eighteen or those who care for certain adults can request to work flexibly, in order to care for them.
- Extended Provision: The University has extended this provision to enable all staff to apply to work flexibly.
- Where the request is made under the statutory right to care for a child it must be made no later than 2 weeks before the child’s seventeenth birthday or eighteenth birthday if the child is disabled.
Is the change to hours permanent?
Accepted applications to work flexibly under the statutory right will result in a permanent change to the member of staff’s terms and conditions, unless otherwise agreed. Accepted applications made under the extended provision will be regularly reviewed in line with the business requirements of the University.
How will my pay/leave be affected?
Terms and conditions of employment will be applied on a pro-rata basis including:
- annual leave/ bank holidays
- occupational sick pay
- maternity leave
- paternity leave
How often can staff apply?
If the application is made under the statutory provision the member of staff normally must not have made a formal application to work flexibly under the right during the previous 12 months
How to apply?
- Application forms for Flexible Working are available on the Diversity and Inclusion Worklife Balance webpage.
- Applicants should include in the request, the reason for the request, details of the desired working pattern, how he/she considers the University could accommodate the request and a start date for the proposed change.
- The University must give serious consideration to all requests.
What happens if the request is approved?
- If the Head of School/ Department/ Unit agrees to the terms of the application, they should notify the member of staff accordingly within 28 days of receiving the application unless there are exceptional circumstances.
- They should send confirmation of acceptance and date of commencement of new working pattern to Human Resources Department who will issue letter confirming revised terms and effective date to staff member.
- Where a member of staff requests to work part time or job share and the Head of School/ Department/ Unit has agreed to the request, but it has not been possible to find a job share partner within the relevant School/ Department/ Unit, the Head of School/ Department/ Unit will contact HR to see if anyone suitable is on job share register.
Can the request be refused?
- Applications can only be refused if there is a clear business reason. For a list of these see Annex 1 of the Policy.
- If the request cannot be accommodated the Head of School/Department/Unit should meet the member of staff within 28 days of receiving the application to discuss further and explore other options.
- the member of staff can be accompanied by a work colleague or a recognised trade union representative at the meeting;
- the staff member should be notified of the decision in writing within 14 days of the meeting and given a reason if the request is refused.
Can staff appeal?
Yes, the member of staff has a right to appeal against the decision within 14 days to the next higher level of management, setting out the grounds for appeal – see policy for full details.