Guidance on working a nine day fortnight

1 Introduction

1.1 Flexible working is a valued employment benefit within Wycombe District Council. The 9-day fortnight is just one of the ways that employees can work flexibly. It is subject to operational requirements and should be reviewed by the manager at regular intervals. This protocol outlines how the 9-day fortnight should operate.

2 Definition

2.1 The 9-day fortnight is a compressed hours working pattern which allows the hours for 10 working days to be condensed into 9 working days. Each working day has a value of approximately 8 hours 15 minutes (pro rata for part-time staff). This means that every 2 weeks the employee has accrued a nonworking day. 

An example of a daily hour’s pattern for a 9-day fortnight
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridayNon working day

Start

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

8.30

 

Lunch

1.0

0.5

1.0

0.5

1.0

0.5

1.0

0.5

1.00

 

Finish

17.45

17.15

17.45

17.15

17.45

17.15

17.45

17.15

17.30

 

Total

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.25

8.00

74.0

There is flexibility with regards to start and finish times during the 9-day fortnight, as agreed between the employee and the line manager, and in accordance with operational needs.

3 Principles

The following principles apply:

Applications to work a 9-day fortnight and agreement on the non-working day is subject to operational needs and must be agreed by your Line Manager and endorsed by the Head of Service. Applications should include the reason for the desired change, the preferred non-working day and how the arrangements would fit in with the service requirements.

The 9-day fortnight working pattern should be reviewed regularly, initially within the first three months, by the Line Manager, to consider whether the work pattern is successful both for the employee and the service area

Where a business need arises, the arrangement can be changed either on a temporary or permanent basis.

If the employee fails to work 74 hours per fortnight, the Council reserves the right to revert the employee to the standard 5 days' per week working pattern, with the appropriate notice.

A long hours' working culture is not encouraged and it is not expected that flexi-time will be accrued in addition to the 9-day fortnight working arrangement. However, in exceptional business circumstances, if an employee accrues more hours than the 74 hours of a 9-day fortnight (pro rata for part-time staff), their manager may consider allowing accrual of additional flexi hours. It is anticipated this will not equate to more than 3 days per year.

If an employee transfers to another post within the Council, continuation of the 9-day fortnight working arrangement would be subject to agreement by the new manager, who may consider the application in light of operational requirements.

If an employee leaves their current post, steps must be taken during the notice period to reduce outstanding banked hours to zero by their last working day in post

4 Operating the Scheme

4.1 Applications should be submitted to the line manager and must be endorsed by the Head of Service.

4.2 An employee's work schedule will be amended on Empower to reflect the revised working pattern.

4.3 When booking annual leave, annual leave entitlements will be converted to hours. For example 30 days leave equates to 222 hours (i.e. 30 days x 7.4hrs = 222 hours). For each day's leave you will need to deduct 8.14 minutes (8.22hrs) - pro rata for part-time employees.

4.4 If a non-working day falls on a bank holiday, the non-working day will not apply and 8.22 hours (pro rata for part-time employees) should be added to the total hours worked for the fortnight. An alternative non-working day should be taken in the specific fortnight with agreement from the line manager.

4.5 Sickness absence will also be recorded in hours as well as the actual days you are absent and are scheduled to work. Please indicate on the sickness absence form that you are working a 9-day fortnight.

4.6 Employees need to record their attendance either by means of an electronic spreadsheet or manually, as agreed with their line manager.