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Working Hours

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what policy on (a) core hours and (b) flexible working hours is operated by his Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which his Department is responsible. [107645]

My Department is committed to accommodate requests from staff to work flexibly, subject to overriding operational requirements, and therefore does not require attendance for core hours beyond the opening and closing times of its offices. My Department has a standard working week of 41 hrs for full-time staff working in the London pay area and 42 hours for full-time staff working elsewhere. These totals include 5 hours for paid meal breaks.With the exception of staff in the Senior Civil Service, and at Grade 7 and Grade 6 level, all staff in my Department are eligible to work a formal flexitime arrangement. Managers are expected to make every effort to accommodate individual preferences for working hours, which are consistent with delivering the Department's business. Grade 6 staff and Grade 7 Team Leaders are also able to work alternative full or part-time flexible working patterns outside the formal flexitime arrangement with the agreement of their line manager.In addition, my Department supports a wide range of flexible working arrangements to help staff achieve a good balance between their home and work life. This includes part-time working, job-sharing, homeworking and term-time working.It has not been possible to provide the requested information for my Department's NDPBs and agencies without incurring disproportionate costs.