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Departmental Flexible Working

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what flexi-time arrangements have been available to staff of his Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each such year. (290574)

Most parts of the Home Office allow staff to participate in flexi-time arrangements where operationally possible. However, there are significant areas of the Home Office, such as the UK Border Agency front-line operations, where business needs preclude the working of flexi-time.

Over a four-week accounting period, staff on flexi-time are required to complete their net conditioned hours of attendance, with a limited credit or deficit being carried over from one period to the next if necessary.

The Home Office flexi-time policy requires staff to be present during an agreed “core time” of 10am to 3.45 pm. Subject to business needs, it allows them to start work any time between 7.30 am and 10am and allows them to leave work any time between 3.45 and 7pm. A lunch break of at least 30 minutes must be taken between 11am and 3pm.

These arrangements may be varied slightly with the agreement of local management. Staff with a part-time attendance pattern must agree individual arrangements with their line managers.

There are more than 250 Home Office locations across the United Kingdom. Flexi-time monitoring is undertaken at a local level and is either electronic or paper-based; records are not maintained centrally and no historic records are available. Therefore, an attempt to obtain the information requested could not be effected without incurring disproportionate cost.