All of us have lives outside work. Many have primary or shared responsibility for caring for children, elderly relatives or others; most of us take part in some form of educational, voluntary or leisure activity. Work is important too. Getting the balance right between the two is never easy. But people need to feel supported in striving to achieve their own work/life balance, so that all aspects of the quality of their life can be enhanced.
The Council recognises the difficulties faced by people in balancing these competing interests. It also recognises that to attract and retain good quality people, to ease pressures at home and work, to minimise absenteeism and to do its best to create a working environment in which people feel they can give their best, we need to be flexible in the demands we make of people.
The Council's policy on Work Life Balance is intended to provide a framework that allows flexibility in employment practices and at the same time safeguard standards for the Council's services.
In April 2003 new flexible working legislation gave all parents with children under the age of 6 (or age 18 if a child is disabled) the right to apply to work flexibly. This does not provide an automatic right to flexible working but employers now have a statutory duty to consider such requests seriously.
The Council extends this right to all staff and will therefore consider requests for flexible working from any member of staff.