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  7. Flexible Working – Flexi-time


Flexible Working Hours (often referred to as flexi-time) means an arrangement which allows an employee to vary their hours of work within agreed limits.

Please note:

  • Jobs which are not directly customer facing are likely to be suited to some flexible working hours.
  • For jobs with direct customer contact a modified form of the flexi-time scheme may be needed or flexi-time may not apply.

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

Where the flexi-time working is agreed to worked this default scheme as described below will apply unless a local arrangement meets the framework provisions is in place. 

Parts of the default scheme can be modified to meet the needs individual Services.  Included in the sections below is a description where applicable on the types of modifications that may be possible. These modifications will be illustrated by means of a box within each relevant section. 

Please note that any locally developed flexible working agreement must be discussed at the service Union Management committee and once agreed, be signed off by the relevant Head of Service and by the Head of People and Organisation.

Where an employee is contracted to work on a compressed working arrangement (in accordance with the Compressed Working Arrangements Framework) they may also be permitted by their Line Manager to work their contracted hours as detailed in the flexi-leave scheme.  In those circumstances however there is no entitlement to accrue hours in order to take flexi-leave.

1. Default Scheme – Definition

Permitted Working Hours

The permitted working hours are from 0730 until 1830.

Possible Modifications

The permitted working hours of flexi-time will normally be within the standard working week (i.e. 0700 until 2000). Directorates may vary the hours of the standard working week when normal service provision is outwith these times.  Any variation in permitted working hours cannot exceed a continuous period of 13 hours per day maximum.

(Non-Standard Working Week Allowance will not be payable for any hours worked within the standard working week.)

Core Time

Core time comprises the time which all employees must work (see section 2 below. 

Possible Modifications

Core hours should normally cover:

  • A six hour period; with
  • A maximum break period of 2 hours; and
  • A minimum break period of 30 minutes; and
  • At least 4 hours to be worked with no more than one break period

Services may decide that core hours are not required for service reasons and not apply this provision.

Flexible Working Hours (Flexi-time)

Within permitted working hours and, outwith core time, an employee has the flexibility to choose the start and finish of their working hours.

Flexible Working Hours (Flexi-time) – Group Working

Within permitted working hours, and outwith core time, where employees are required to work as a group or a team, they may, in consultation with associated groups, choose the start and finish of the group or team’s work, subject to the provision of a proper flow of work in the Service. 

Standard Hours

These are the employee’s contractual hours which should be achieved in each accounting period (i.e. 148 hours for an employee working a 37 hour week).

Accounting and Flexi-time Periods

An accounting period is four weeks.

The flexi-time periods for the current year are as follows:

PERIOD ONE                     (28/12/2020 – 22/01/2021)
PERIOD TWO                    (25/01/2021 – 19/02/2021)
PERIOD THREE                 (22/02/2021 – 19/03/2021)
PERIOD FOUR                   (22/03/2021- 16/04/2021)
PERIOD FIVE                    (19/04/2021 – 14/05/2021)
PERIOD SIX                      (17/05/2021 – 11/06/2021)
PERIOD SEVEN                 (14/06/2021 – 09/07/2021)
PERIOD EIGHT                  (12/07/2021 – 06/08/2021)
PERIOD NINE                   (09/08/2021 – 03/09/2021)
PERIOD TEN                     (06/09/2021 – 01/10/2021)
PERIOD ELEVEN               (04/10/2021 – 29/10/2021)
PERIOD TWELVE               (01/11/2021 – 26/11/2021)
PERIOD THIRTEEN            (29/11/2021 – 24/12/2021)


Time Credits/Time Debits

Any time credit or debit is found at the end of the accounting period by comparing the actual hours of attendance with the standard hours.  A time credit of not more than 15 hours may be carried forward to the following period.  Anyone with a time debit greater than 7.5 hours at the end of any period shall be reported to the line manager.  Three such timed edits in any 12 month rolling period or ongoing failure to fulfil contractual hours may be dealt with in accordance with the Council’s disciplinary procedure. 

Time Recording Equipment

This equipment registers the times of starting and stopping work and is to be used in those establishments where it is available. 

Record Card

Where time recording equipment is not available each employee will receive a card to record their periods of attendance.  This is intended as a record of attendance achieved. 

The Person Responsible

The responsibility for ensuring that the scheme is being properly applied and complied with on a day-to-day basis rests with line management within the Service.  It is the responsibility of the individual employee to ensure their periods of attendance are recorded accurately. 

2. Default Scheme – Daily Working Hours

Flexible start of work                                                  –           between 0730 and 1000

Flexible lunch time (minimum 30 minutes)            –            between 1200 and 1400

Flexible finish of work                                                 –           between 1600 and 1830

Core time                                                                     –           1000 – 1200

                                                                                      –           1400  – 1600

Permitted working hours                                          –            0730 – 1830

Possible Modifications

Where 6 or more hours are worked continuously in a 24 hour period an unpaid rest break of 30 minutes must be taken.  Please see Working Time Regulations pages as these should be complied with.

A maximum of 11 hours may be worked in any 24 hour period. If an employee chooses to work in excess of the recommended maximum they will not accrue additional time credits. 

Under the flexible working time scheme there is the potential for employee to work extended hours.  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.

3. Default Scheme – Operation of Scheme

Time Recording

Each employee will record all periods of attendance at work and all absences on the record card.  This will be done using time recording equipment where installed, or by manual recording where time recording equipment is not available.

Overtime Working

Overtime working must be pre-authorised in writing by your line manager.  No work will be paid at overtime rates during the permitted working hours covered by this scheme and without authorisation having been granted. 

Categories Covered

This scheme does not itself represent a contractual entitlement and may be withdrawn where the terms of the scheme are not complied with.  The scheme applies to staff employed under the SJC for Local Government Employees but may also apply to Chief Officials and Craft Workers where deemed appropriate.

Abuse of the Scheme

The Flexible Working Hours Scheme relies heavily on the trust and co-operation of all employees.  It should be noted that any abuse of the scheme will be regarded in a most serious light and the offending member of staff will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure and provisions of the scheme removed where the scheme is being abused.

4. Default Scheme – Flexi Leave

Staff may request flexi-leave, including core time, on the following conditions:-

  • Such leave of absence will not exceed two half-days, or one full day, in any four week period (i.e. 13 days per year).
  • A time credit of not less than four hours must apply at the date when flexi-leave is granted.
  • Such leave cannot be authorised retrospectively and any such unauthorised absence will be treated as leave without pay.
  • Where possible three clear working days’ notice of request must be given to the Line Manager before the day of absence and the agreement of the Line Manager must be obtained at least one clear day before the day of absence.
  • Flexi-leave will normally be granted; however due to demands or exigencies of the service that apply at the time the request may be refused and either an alternative day suggested or accrued time taken at some other time.
  • No credit will be granted for any period of “flexi” leave.

Please Note – If an employee is required to attend a training course or meeting which results in their having to begin work before 7.30am or end later than 6.30pm the maximum period that can be recorded for flexitime is 10.5 hours (ie 7.30am to 6.30pm with one half hour break). 

5. Flexi-leave – Local Operating Arrangements

Functions/Clusters may develop local arrangements taking account of local operating environments (i.e. standard working when flexi-time operates, core hours). Only those provisions which are noted in the framework above can be varied.  All other provisions must apply as detailed in the default scheme.

If a local flexible working arrangement is needed, the Function/Cluster will be responsible for developing the detail of the scheme and for consulting with the trade unions and staff with a view to reaching agreement. It is recommended that managers discuss their intentions with an Advisor/Manager in the People and Organisational Development Cluster before beginning formal consultation so that the legal compliance of the proposals can be confirmed.

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