February 24, 2012

Flexible working hours for employees

This need to make changes can have a significant knock-on effect on employees, for example working hours may need to change or roles and responsibilities may need to be restructured.

This is the situation faced by one of our clients a few months ago. It had become apparent to the management team that in order to survive the downturn, the business must be able to respond to customer demand by opening at the times their customers wanted. This meant opening earlier and closing later as well as introducing weekend opening hours and as such, staff working hours needed to be significantly changed.

As all employees worked a traditional 8-5.30 pattern, the company had to embark on a consultation process to try and seek the employees’ agreement to the new working hours.

Solicitors in the Employment Team at RWK Goodman guided the client thought the consultation process so that a successful outcome was achieved. Once the employees saw the particular business reasons motivating the change, most were willing to agree to the proposals. Carrie Pearson comments ‘Sometimes it can feel quite overwhelming to embark on a consultation process of this size. However, as long as it is broken down logically into a series of steps, most clients find that they are confident to tackle such issues head on. Where clients do not have the resources in house to lead a consultation like this, we can provide hands-on HR support to assist.’

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