Masterclass workshops: Managing flexible working

What is the need?

In April 2003 the Employment Act introduced the right for parents of young and disabled children to apply to work flexibly. From April 2007 this right was extended to cover carers of adults.

Employers have a legal duty to consider all applications and establish whether the desired work pattern can be accommodated within the needs of the business. Hence, approximately two thirds of most workforces are eligible or will become eligible to apply to work flexibly, and HR professionals will be required to prepare policies, as well as to give sound advice to line managers and to individuals. DTI research indicates that four out of five requests were fully or partly accepted in 2006.

A request for flexible working which is refused may give rise to a claim for breach of the flexible working, sex discrimination, or age discrimination legislation. HR professionals need to handle requests for flexible with the utmost care.

This is just the start, however. It is making flexibility work for your organisation and its employees, which holds the key. Most organisations probably have policies in place but how many can say they really have effective flexible working?

Your organisation will need to appreciate how to respond appropriately to likely requests, and you will want to advise and support line managers who will need to manage schemes, individuals and the bottom line.

Why this course?

This course will prepare HR professionals to support an HR function, an operational team, or a group of managers to:

  • define and quantify the benefits to the business
  • appreciate their responsibilities and pitfalls under the legislation for handling requests for flexible working
  • respond appropriately to requests to work flexibly
  • decide how employees might work flexibly
  • draw up a practical plan of working flexibly
  • implement and manage flexible working


The day begins with an introduction to flexible working, adjusted to reflect the participants’ experience. The remainder of the day will be participative and interactive. This course is practical with an emphasis on making schemes work.


The legislation and its provisions

Flexible working — the right to request and the duty to consider, to include an overview of the current provisions within the legislation.

Benefits to the organisation of flexible working

Types of flexible working, together with the advantages and disadvantages to the organisation:

  • part-time working
  • flexi-time
  • job-sharing
  • working from home
  • term-time working
  • V time
  • annual hours
  • compressed working hours
  • shift-working

Problems and drawbacks — why schemes do not work or do not get taken up

  • planned vs ad hoc approaches
  • formal vs informal approaches
  • managing (or lack of) flexible workers
  • lack of communication
  • cultural issues

Implementing flexible working policies and practices

Putting a five-step plan into action:

  • Step 1 — Why are you making changes, and what do you and your employees want out of them? Setting up a baseline and presenting a business case
  • Step 2 — Designing a pilot
  • Step 3 — Running a scheme
  • Step 4 — Evaluation and roll out
  • Step 5 — On-going management and ensuring everyone has a good experience

Who should attend this course?

  • HR generalists, consultants and business partners who need to be knowledgeable on key HR issues
  • HR professionals who have responsibility for implementing flexible working schemes
  • senior HR professionals who need an overview of their organisation’s responsibilities and appropriate responses in handling requests for flexible working
  • project teams who need to implement flexible working


One day

CPD course pricing

Unless otherwise stated, in-house course fees are as follows:

CPD in-house training per day (excl. VAT)
non-members of the IES HR Network £1,640
members of the IES HR Network £1,450

Contact us

For more information or to book a Masterclass workshop, please get in touch to discuss your requirements with us.

Email: Gwen Leeming

Call: 01273 763433