Employers and work-life balance


 
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Work-life balance – Jargon buster

Flexible working patterns

  • Annualised hours – contractual working hours are expressed in the total number of hours to be worked per year, allowing flexible working patterns throughout the year.
  • Consolidated hours – contractual full-time hours are worked in 4 longer days instead of 5 days.
  • Fixed-term contract – sometimes referred to as a short-term or temporary contract, this type of employment contract is established for a fixed period of time only. Contracts can have an end date and/or be renewable.
  • Flexible working – any form of alternative working pattern that is negotiable between the employer and employee. Flexible working allows employees to meet personal commitments (such as dropping children off at school) and meet business demands.
  • Flexitime – a system permitting flexibility of working hours at the beginning or end of the day. Employees must work the ‘core hours’ set by the company and complete an agreed total number of hours.
  • Home working – by arrangement with the employer, the employee works from home either all or part of the working week. Home workers can be full- or part-time employees. The employer normally provides technological facilities in the home worker’s home.
  • Job share – an arrangement by which the responsibilities of one job are split between two part-time workers.
  • Part-time working – working fewer hours than the normal number of full-time hours set by an organisation but with the same status as a full-time worker.
  • Self-managed working – employees manage their own working pattern and time to deliver agreed outputs.
  • Shift working – the working day is split into shifts (say of 12pm to 8pm and 8pm to 4am) enabling operational hours to be extended. Employees work one shift a day; they can be full- or part-time workers.
  • Teleworking / Telecommuting – the use of technology, such as computers and telephones, to enable employees to work from home while maintaining contact with colleagues, customers or a central office.
  • Term-time contracts – contractual working hours are established during school terms only and school holidays are not worked. Pay can be averaged out over 12 monthly instalments or paid only for time worked, i.e. the employee does not receive pay during school holidays. The contract of employment continues during school holidays.
  • Time in lieu provisions – employees take time off as a form of compensation for hours they have worked in addition to their contractual hours. Employees take time off in proportion to the number of extra hours worked, so 10 hours’ additional work would equate to 10 hours’ time in lieu. They do not receive overtime pay.

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© Work-Life balance part of The Work Foundation 2005