Compressed Working

Compressed working means an arrangement where employees work their contracted hours over an agreed working period, e.g. 74 hours over 9 days in a 2 week period. 

In practice compressed working leads to an employee working for more hours per day, but for fewer days per week or month. (In this example, a standard working day would be 8.22 hours or 8 hours 14 minutes.)

See the main flexible working page for a Flexible Working Request Form and the application process.

1. Framework Provisions

If you are considering compressed working arrangement request then you should take these points into account:

2. Recording of Working Arrangements

The compressed working time or day off will be recorded as zero hours on the attendance card.  If an employee complies with a request to work on their designated compressed working time or day off due to operational reasons they will have the option to take this at some other agreed time, or, with prior approval of their Line/ Service Manager, receive an overtime payment.

3. Compressed Working Limits

  • Daily working hours can be flexible between the hours of 07:00 and 20:00. Where 6 or more hours are worked in a 24 hour period an un-paid rest break of at least 30 minutes must be taken.
  • Details of the working time regulations are available here. These are statutory provisions which must be complied with.
  • Under compressed working there is the potential for employees to work extended hours on some or all working days. Both the employee and the line manager have a duty of responsibility to ensure that all Health and Safety issues are identified and addressed and that performance is maintained at a consistent level.
  • Compressed working extends the normal working day and reduces the number of days worked over the period. Although there may be some flexibility in start and finish times, employees on compressed working will NOT be entitled to flexi-leave.
  • Compressed working can operate along with other solutions such as Term Time Working or Homeworking.

4. Calculated Annual Leave and Public Holidays

Calculating Annual Leave

Annual leave entitlement will be converted into hours for the year.  As an example, annual leave entitlement based on an average 37 hour working week for an employee with less than 5 years continuous service is:

(27 days x 7.4 hours) = 199.8 hours annual leave (this will be pro-rated for part-time staff)

The number of hours that would normally be worked on the annual leave day will be deducted from the annual leave entitlement.

As an example, someone working 37 hours per week over a 9 day fortnight works 8.22 hours in each working day.  For each day of leave they would deduct 8.22 hours from their leave entitlement.

Public Holidays

Public Holiday entitlement will be converted into hours for the year.  As an example public holiday entitlement based on an average 37 hour working week is:

(7 days x 7.4 hours) = 51.8 hours annual leave

The number of hours that would normally be worked on the designated public holiday will require to be deducted from the leave entitlement.

If a person is NOT scheduled to work on a public holiday no hours will require to be deducted from the leave entitlement. (i.e. if as a result of compressed working the normal working day is 8.22 hours, this will only require to be deducted from the public holiday entitlement if this would have been a normal working day.)

For part-time staff the public holiday entitlement will be pro-rated and if there are not enough hours in the public holiday entitlement to cover the time off for public holidays time will be taken from the annual leave entitlement. Conversely where there is an excess of hours for public holidays this will be added to the annual leave entitlement.

Relevant Documents

To return to the main Flexible Working page please click here.

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