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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.
- 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:
- Flexitime and flexible retirement - providing choice
- Staggered hours - providing choice
- Compressed hours
- Self-rostering - providing individual control
- Annual hours systems - for organisations working 24 hours every day
- Annualised hours - for continuous manufacturing