Between 2010 and 2015, 10,000 teachers departed the profession and there are concerns in the future that there will be a shortage in this vital profession. According to a survey (2015) conducted by the NUT and YouGov 57% of teachers thinking of leaving the profession in the next two years cited “seeking a better work/life balance” as one of the main reasons. By offering flexible working you can retain a highly skilled and experienced workforce which essential for any workplace.
Employees with 26 weeks continuous service have a statutory right to request flexible working, if they have not submitted a request in the last 12 months. An employee is entitled to additional requests if they relate to a statutory entitlement e.g. the Equality Act 2010 right to request reasonable adjustments. Managers have a duty to consider a request in a reasonable manner and can only refuse a request for flexible working for one of a specific number of reasons.
Flexible working can improve retention and diversity in the workforce, and improve motivation and productivity, supporting work life balance and employee wellbeing.
Benefits of flexible working may also include :
• In small schools, particularly, a greater number of teaching staff makes covering the curriculum more practicable;
• Reduction in ill health absence;
• Experienced staff return to work after maternity leave more quickly where working patterns support childcare arrangements
• Effective job share arrangements can give pupils the opportunity to learn from two experienced teachers;
• Flexible arrangements are an alternative to early retirement for those in their final years of service, allowing a reduction in working time before retirement rather than the ‘cliff edge’ approach to retirement,
The DfE have produced a “Flexible Working in Schools” guidance document to support schools, with case studies demonstrating different ways of working. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-working-in-schools.
The NYHR “Flexible Working Policy and Procedure” incorporates job share guidance. If you require any help or advice with a request please speak to your allocated HR Caseworker or alternatively call the NYHR helpline on 01609 798343 or email NYHR@northyorks.gov.uk.