Flexible working: NHS Employers wants to hear nurses’ views
Nurses are being urged to complete a survey on the new flexible working arrangements as NHS Employers aims for a ‘sustained cultural shift’
Nurses working in the NHS are being asked to share their views on flexible working arrangements at their place of work to mark two years since changes were introduced.
Contractual right to request flexible working hours
In 2021 the NHS Staff Council agreed revisions to Section 33 of the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service Handbook along with trade unions and employers, designed to improve flexibility for all NHS employees and instigate a ‘cultural shift’ in approaches to work patterns.
The changes included the contractual right to request flexible working hours from day one of employment and an escalation process if a request is rejected.
Now NHS Employers are seeking feedback from staff and urging them to complete a survey on the implementation of the changes, what has worked well and what improvements could be made.
‘The enhancements were introduced to champion and facilitate a cultural shift, ensuring that flexible working options are accessible to all NHS staff,’ a statement from NHS Employers said. ‘One of the core commitments in the NHS People Promise is “we work flexibly”, emphasising that individuals should not have to compromise their family, friendships or personal interests for the sake of work.
‘The NHS has led the way in taking a proactive approach, surpassing statutory requirements and setting a new standard.’
NHS Employers wants ‘sustained cultural change in the NHS’
Last month the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) urged nurses to take part in their consultation – which closed on 6 September – on a statuary code of practice that all NHS trusts, care providers and health service employers will have to follow on new flexible working requests.
The consultation will be looking at transparency, representations in meetings and the appeals process and comes after the Employment Rights Bill (Flexible Working) was given royal assent to come into effect in spring 2024. Its findings are expected to be announced by the government in due course.
Meanwhile, NHS Employers said it intends to further the development of flexible working to support a ‘sustained cultural change within the NHS’.
This will include developing case studies to share good practice examples and demonstrating how this is making a difference within NHS organisations.
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