Flexible working

Flexible working is an intrinsic part of how we work here at Essex.

In both our university strategy  and people supporting sub strategy , we outline our commitment to building a more agile and flexible working culture that is responsive to emerging issues and supportive of our staff whilst continuing to support our mission of excellence in education and research.

As we return to campus, many people are looking to keep some of the benefits of working from home, where this is compatible with operational needs. Essex has policies and guidance in place to help managers agree and support effective flexible working arrangements in their teams, including agreeing short-term arrangements on a time-limited or temporary basis.

These policies and guidance can be used to agree temporary flexible working arrangements for people returning to campus. This can support people to continue to work at home for some of their time while longer-term new ways of working are being developed as part of the Smart Working at Essex project. Temporary arrangements also allow individuals to try new working patterns at a time of considerable uncertainty.

Types of flexible working

  • Day-to-day flexibility: it is expected that the majority of roles will allow a degree of day-to-day flexibility wherever possible. This may be arriving and leaving slightly earlier than usual or taking breaks when needed. Flexibility in the way that we work will look different depending on roles and responsibilities, but we should be creative when exploring flexible ways of working.
  • Short term flexible arrangements: these are arrangements are temporary and allow the management of personal pressures. They may involve changes to working patterns or hours.
  • Changes to working pattern: a different pattern to the standard contracted hours, whilst recognising that not all staff have contracts that reflect Monday to Friday arrangements. This may be a formal agreement (compressed hours, annualised hours, term time working) or more informal (starting or finishing at an earlier/later time).
  • Hybrid working: a form of flexible working which allows employees to work from a variety of different locations, often combing working from home with the option to work in the office, or other public spaces.
  • Career break: an extended period of unpaid time away from work.
  • Changes to working hours: where an employee would like to decrease or increase their hours.

There is no service length requirement in order to make requests (with the exception of career breaks), and there are no restrictions on the number of requests made in a 12 month period where there are no changes to hours.

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Employee Relations Advisers