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Time rises - organising working hours more flexibly - can be just as important as pay rises for some workers

Pay rises are designed to reward, motivate and retain existing staff and be part of the package that recruits new staff. Pay is always important, particularly for lower paid workers.

But time rises - organising working hours more flexibly or shortening hours - can be just as important and achieve similar results.

For unions, time rises can be an effective negotiating strategy for delivering what many members want from their work.

In a government commissioned survey Work-Life Balance 2000: the Baseline Study , a key finding was that:

"There was a substantial demand for flexible working time arrangements from employees. More men wanted flexitime, compressed hours, and annualised hours than women. Women were more likely than men to want term-time working or reduced hours."

Being aware of tried and tested options for work-life balance is important to the process of agreeing new ways of working.

Organisations and individuals will need to 'pick and mix' to find the right combination of working time policies for a particular workplace.

While a number of options can be introduced at the same time and some will overlap, the options here are presented as 'individual' options that can be taken-up on that basis and 'collective' options which will probably require participation by all or most employees in a particular work group or area.

Individual Options are:

  • part-time - the most widely used form of flexible working
  • v-time - voluntarily reducing hours for a set period
  • job-share - two people sharing one job
  • term-time working - for parents of school-age children
  • compressed working week - same hours in less days
  • working from home - flexibility to better manage your workload
  • time off in lieu (TOIL) - time-off instead of overtime pay
  • time accounts - banking hours for the future

Collective Options are:


the right to request flexible working to parents of all children and to consult on extending it to all workers, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
30 September 2010
The TUC has today (Tuesday) launched a new guide on how to persuade employers of the benefits of introducing family friendly policies at work.
26 January 2010
TUC Monthly Work/Life Balance
05 January 2010
TUC Monthly Work/Life Balance Newsletter. We are looking for your views on this newsletter. What is good and bad about Changing Times and how do you use the information that we provide? What more could the TUC do on work-life balance issues? We need your views to help us take...
12 November 2009
Monthly work/life balance newsletter
04 September 2009
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24 July 2009
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02 July 2009
TUC Monthly Work/Life Balance
22 May 2009
CONTENTS Union news: Forty-eight hour opt out must go * Care and support should be free for all * Term time contracts hurt women * Union ballot on imposed rosters * Rail unions to fight job cuts and zero hours * TUC secret Santa emails some seasonal cheer * TUC...
15 December 2008
CONTENTS Union news: ‘Work anytime' system riles meat inspectors * Childcare workers need a better deal * Concern as homeworking campaign closes * Public wants action on equal pay * Unions say women need a fair deal * NUJ campaigns to close growing pay gap * STUC has different day,...
24 November 2008

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