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Departmental Flexible Working

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what flexitime arrangements were available to staff within the Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each such year. (290445)

The Department recognises that flexible working allows staff to combine employment and a career with other responsibilities as well as meeting personal needs. The Department encourages staff to work flexibly through providing opportunities such as part-time working, job sharing, term-time only working and the use of flexitime. It also provides the technology to allow staff to work at home on occasions and has in place specific arrangements to allow parents, adopters, guardians and foster carers of children under 16 (or disabled children under 18) to apply to work flexibly.

Most staff participate in the flexitime work arrangement. The Department also encourages other flexible arrangements such as spreading working hours over nine days within a fortnight or four days within a week.

Managers have the discretion to agree flexible working arrangements locally, without making contractual changes. These local arrangements are not recorded centrally so the numbers of staff working flexibly is not available, but is likely to be a large proportion of the work force.

In our last submission to Office for National Statistics (1 April 2009) we had 201 staff working part-time, based on those arrangements where contractual changes were agreed centrally. Of those, six had job-share arrangements and five were working term-time. Prior to July 2008 this information was not held centrally.

At the website

There are details of full- and part-time employees in the Department.

From 16 June 2009 civil servants hoping to find a job-share partner can now use a new online job-sharing board to help match them with a suitable person. This can be found at: