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Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on a revision of the flexible working arrangements policy: Notice

8 December 2003

The Council have considered the remarks made by Professor G. R. Evans at the Discussion of this Report on 7 October 2003 (Reporter, p. 70). They have consulted the General Board and have agreed to comment on the points that are relevant to the Joint Report as follows:

The Council note that Professor Evans does not query the principle of flexible working arrangements but is concerned about contractual matters, about the implications of applying the principles of flexible working to differing conditions of service, and about local decision-making. The Council and the General Board wish to reiterate that the Flexible Working Policy has been developed with the intention of helping members of staff to balance their commitments and interests outside work with their University contractual duties and responsibilities. They wish to confirm that the aim of the procedure specified in the policy is to ensure that applications to work flexibly are treated fairly by reviewing them systematically against a range of factors, taking into account operational requirements of institutions and the different terms and conditions of the office/post. They agree that the policy continues to allow officers to combine University work with relevant external part-time employment in an area where there are strong professional links. However, there is an important proviso which Professor Evans does not mention, namely that such private work does not interfere with the performance of their University duties.

Professor Evans suggested that the balance of interest should be in favour of the University rather than the member of staff's institution. The Council take the view that the assessment of a particular request has to be a local matter (and for offices in Faculties has to be approved by the Faculty Board as well as the institution).

The Council, with the concurrence of the General Board, are accordingly submitting a Grace (Grace 2, p. 288) to the Regent House for the approval of the recommendations of the Report.

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Cambridge University Reporter 10 December
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