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Departmental Working Hours

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the policy of her Department and its agencies is on granting staff time off in lieu for working (a) in lunch breaks, (b) in evenings and (c) at other times outside contracted working hours; and if she will make a statement. (252023)

Flexible working hours (FWH) or flexitime schemes operate widely in the Home Office where the nature of the work allows for it. The schemes give members of staff flexibility over the pattern of their working day. Most Home Office staff take advantage of these schemes which enable them to vary their lunch break.

The requirements of the Working Time Regulations in relation to excess hours worked should ensure that staff take at least the minimum lunch break each day and do not regularly work long hours.

Where members of staff who do not use flexible working schemes work outside of their normal contractual hours they may also take any excess hours worked as time off in lieu, or, where it is applicable and appropriate, and dependent on their grade, authorised overtime may be payable or a discretionary payment made.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many days off in lieu were granted to staff in (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies for working (i) in lunch breaks and (ii) at other times outside contracted hours, in the last year for which figures are available. (252024)

Responsibility for granting days off in lieu is delegated to local line management and information on the total number of days in lieu taken by staff in the Home Office and its agencies and NDPBs is therefore not held centrally. For this reason this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.