Information alert

The guidance on this page relates to Mid Mersey division staff who transferred from North West Boroughs Healthcare on 1 June 2021. 

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust) recognises that employees want to strike a sensible balance between home and work life. The Trust is therefore committed to offering flexible, modern employment practices wherever it is reasonably practicable to do so. This policy and associated procedures covers a range of options that enable employees to manage the balance between work and home.

The Work Life Balance  procedure will provide managers with guidance on the various types of flexible working arrangements which can support employees in achieving a healthy work life balance. It includes the process for accepting and rejecting a request.

There are a number of working arrangements available to employees seeking a healthy work life balance, which enables the organisation to employ a flexible workforce that meet the needs of the service as well as the individual. The Types of flexible working arrangements which may be requested include but are not limited to:

  •  Part time working
  •  Job sharing
  •  Term time working
  •  Career break
  • Annualised hours
  •  Home working
  •  Compressed hours
  • Flexitime working

Flexible Working is open to all employees who have 26 continuous weeks service with the Trust and haven’t made a request in the last 12 months.

Career break: Can I apply for a career break for 3 months?

No.  The policy allows for an application for a career break for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 5 years.

Career break: If I am successful in obtaining a career break for 2 years, can this be extended?

If you wanted to extend a career break, a new application for flexible working would be required and would be subject to the flexible working application process.

Flexible working: Can I take someone to the meeting with me?

You have the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union Representative or a work colleague.

Flexible working: How long will I have to appeal?

10 days from the day you received your outcome letter.

Flexible working: I have appealed the outcome, when will my appeal meeting take place?

The appeal hearing should be held in line with the timescales outlined in the Trusts Grievance Procedure,

The appeal meeting should be held within 15 working days of receipt of the appeal letter, the decision should be followed in writing within 5 working days (if not delivered on the day).

Flexible working: I have put in my application for flexible working to my line manager, how long until they meet with me?

The meeting will take place within 28 days of receiving your letter, (unless you have agreed to an extension).

Flexible working: I have recently changed my hours, can I make another request if I want to change them again?

Employees can make one flexible working request within a 12 month period.

Flexible working: If I am successful in obtaining a different role through recruitment, would my flexible working arrangements be honoured?
No.  Flexible working arrangements apply to the role and the individual assessed at the time of applying.  Therefore any existing arrangements do not automatically transfer over with the employee to the new role.  It is the employee’s responsibility to discuss the possibility of flexible working within their new role with their new manager, and to submit a flexible working request as per procedure.

Flexible working: If I apply for a reduction in hours can I revert back to my old hours in the future?

Your flexible working application will need to state if your request is a permanent or temporary change. 

If your change is approved on a permanent basis then this would be a permanent change to your terms and conditions of employment.  This means any future changes you wish to make to your hours would require a further flexible working application.

If your change is agreed on a temporary basis, a set period of time will be agreed i.e. 3 months.  At the end of the agreed timescale, you would meet with your manager to discuss next steps.  As the change was temporary you have the option of reverting back to your old hours at this point.

Flexible working: If I reduced my hours, will this affect my annual leave?

Yes.  Your annual leave and bank holiday entitlement will need to be re-calculated from the date that your hours are changed.  Please refer to the Leave Policy and Annual Leave Calculator available to assist with this.

Flexible working: If my application is refused, will I get to know the reasons why?

Yes.  It is a requirement that you will receive the outcome of your application in writing.  If your application is refused the Manager will need to state clear grounds and rationale for the refusal, this must be for a valid business reason in line with legislation.  Please refer to section 2.2 of the Work Life Balance Procedure.

Flexible working: My request for flexible working has been approved, what paperwork needs completing?

Your manager will fill in an ESR or Simple Saf form for the necessary changes to be made on ESR and to ensure payroll adjustments are made correctly.

Flexible working: What is the process if I want to appeal the outcome of my request?

It is a requirement that you get the outcome of your application in writing.  If your request is refused you will have the option to appeal, the appeal process will be outlined in your letter.

Flexible working: Who can ask for flexible working?

Flexible Working is open to all employees who have 26 continuous weeks service with the Trust and haven’t made a request in the last 12 months.

Flexible working: Will I find out at the meeting if my request has been approved?

During the meeting your request with be discussed including any difficulties they can foresee in accommodating it.  The manager will take this opportunity to discuss all possible alternatives if necessary.  The Manager must confirm their decision to you in writing 5 working days following the meeting.  It is therefore optional whether the manager tells you the outcome at the meeting.

Term time working: Can I claim overtime whilst working a term time contract?

In order to qualify for overtime staff must exceed the full-time basic hours of 162.95 over a month (37.5 hours per week).

Your Electronic Staff Record or payslip will confirm your contractual hours based on your term time contract. If your monthly working hours exceeds the amount of 162.95, you will receive a non-pensionable overtime rate.

For further clarity regarding overtime and term time working, this please contact Payroll Services on 0151 290 4690.

Term Time Working: How does Term Time Working affect my annual leave?

Your time off work will be pre-determined my school holidays at the time of agreeing the Term Time Working contract and therefore you would not be entitled to annual leave as well as the pre-determined time off in school holidays.  Payment for annual leave will be included in your salary and averaged out over the 12 month period.

Term Time Working: How does Term Time working affect my pay?

Payment of hours is averaged out over a 12-month period.  Your pay would be worked out based on the number of weeks worked over 12 months plus your annual leave entitlement.