Aston University is committed to providing working conditions which enable employees to achieve a work-life balance whilst fulfilling the business needs of the University. There are a number of work-life balance and flexible working arrangements in place. These guidelines focus on the main policies and identify those aspects of the policy which are mandatory and those which are discretionary. In applying discretion, managers need to balance the immediate needs of the service with the need to create and maintain a diverse and effective workforce.
The main Policies and initiatives are:
Full details of these policies are available from Personnel or through the Personnel Website. The guidelines below highlight the key points.
The University offers a range of part-time and term-time posts in line with the needs of the service. Additionally, full-time employees may request to work part-time at particular points in their career. Managers should carefully consider such requests taking into consideration:
Where it is agreed that the employee may undertake part-time employment Personnel should be informed of the decision, the agreed hours and the date of commencement of the change.
If the manager decides that part-time work is not an option they should contact their designated Personnel Officer to ensure that all options have been considered and that the reasons for the decision are clear and recorded.
From 6th April 2003 parents of children aged under 6 or of disabled children aged under 18 will have the right to apply to work flexibly.
They will be able to request :
Employers will have a statutory duty to consider their applications seriously. The University will issue guidance on this in February 2003.
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The Flexible Working Hours Scheme is operated in a range of University Departments. This enables employees to have some control over their working hours within the guidelines laid down within the scheme and provided that the needs of the service are met.
A job share is a formal arrangement where two people voluntarily share the responsibilities of one full time post, with the salary and leave entitlement allocated on a pro-rata basis. Full details of how Job Share can be arranged are to be found within the Job Share Guidelines but key points are as follows:
Aston University has a Maternity Leave Agreement which sets out both Statutory and Contractual/Occupational benefits for pregnant employees. The precise entitlements will depend on the employee’s length of service. However, managers need to be aware of the following:
The University allows five days’ paid paternity leave per child to all fathers (natural or adoptive) who have been continuously employed by the University for a period of 12 months before the expected week of confinement or, in the case of adoptive fathers, before the expected week of placement.
Parental Leave is the statutory right of any parents of children under and up to the age of 6 years. Key characteristics are as follows:
Employees have a statutory entitlement to unpaid “Time off for Dependants” under the Employment Relations Act 1999. This right allows employees unpaid time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. Additionally the University may grant paid compassionate leave.
Employees have a statutory entitlement to reasonable time off for care of dependants in the following circumstances:
Paid compassionate leave may be allowed in the following circumstances:
The Working Time Directive lays down a set of complex provisions to ensure that employees are not required to work excessive hours. Employees should not, for example, be required to work more than 48 hours per week (including overtime) averaged over a 17 week period. The regulations also specify appropriate rest breaks between shifts and appropriate annual paid leave. The University is now required to keep records of hours worked by all employees to ensure that excessive hours are not being worked.
Care needs to be taken particularly in relation to those employees who hold more than one post.
However, not all employees fall within the Working Time Directive, particularly more senior employees. At Aston, those employees who are considered to fall outside of the directive (except in the provision for annual leave) are:
Additionally, for employees involved in security and surveillance the provisions in respect of rest breaks, daily rest, weekly rest and length of night work do not apply (although all other provisions will apply). These include:
For all other employees, all the provisions will apply unless they agree formally to opt out of this provision. Individual employees do have the right to waive their rights to the 48 hour limit provided that they sign a formal document to confirm this. Opt out forms may be obtained from Personnel.
Further advice and guidance on these regulations can be obtained by contacting your designated Personnel Officer.