HR Policy
To Be Categorised
Head of Staff Governance, HR Policy Group
HR Policy Group, APF
Director of Workforce, Employee Director
01 March 2017
25 October 2021
01 October 2024

General Note

NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.

New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.

Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.

If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policy or legislative changes.


NHS Fife, being an employer committed to the principles of work-life balance, recognises that, as one of a range of options, a flexible working arrangement may give staff some discretion as to their starting and finishing times each day. This policy details the procedure for requesting types of flexible working.

There are many forms of flexible working. It can describe a place of work, for example, home-working, or a type of contract. Other common variations include: part-time working, flexi-time, job sharing and shift working. The request can cover hours of work, times of work and place of work and may include requests for different patterns of work.

Employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner, however, will have the flexibility to refuse requests on business grounds.


This policy applies to all managers and staff within NHS Fife


The responsibility for the application of the policy rests with Line Managers, Staff and HR staff within NHS Fife.


4.1 Right to request flexible working

All employees who meet the eligibility criteria outlined in Section 4.3 below have the right to request flexible working.

4.2 Eligible employees are entitled to request:

  • A change to the hours they work
  • A change to the times when they are required to work; or
  • A change to the place they are required to work

An acceptance of an employee’s request for flexible working will result in a permanent change to that employee’s terms and conditions of employment unless otherwise agreed (for example any temporary arrangement under review). Any permanent change should be documented as a formal contract variation in order to be effective. The employee has no right to revert back to the previous working pattern once a formal contract variation is in place. For medical staff in the Consultant and Specialty Doctor/Associate Specialist grades, this is normally achieved through the contractual job planning process.

4.3 Eligibility

Employees have the right to request flexible working from their first day in post. 

To be eligible to make a request, the employee must:

  • Not be an agency worker, and
  • Not have made another application to work flexibly during the previous 52 weeks

This does not preclude a manager agreeing with an employee that their request can be approved within that time period in circumstances where the request was originally refused, but the work environment can now sustain the change requested.

4.4 Application

An employee can only make one application for flexible working in any 12 month period from the date on which any previous application was made. All applications for flexible working must be made on the Flexible Working Application Form attached at Appendix 2 and completed forms should be submitted to the employee’s line manager.

The procedure to be followed when dealing with an application is contained within the attached Flexible Working, Guidance for Managers Document.

Risk Management

This policy will be reviewed yearly to ensure compliance with relevant and appropriate employment legislation.

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