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What is a 9 day fortnight with condensed hours?

This working pattern keeps your hours and pay the same (if you were on a standard hours/week contract) but alters the pattern of hours over the fortnight.   E.g. By adjusting your hours to do an extra 7.5 hours over 9 working days, you’ll get a full day off each fortnight – an extra 26 non-working days a year! 

Why is this a pilot and could this become permanent? 

We’re keen to help everyone have a better work-life balance, and believe that having more time off and away from work will help us all be more rested, give us more free time for our passions and allows time at work to be more focused and productive. 

As it is quite a change to how we currently work, we want to use the pilot to make sure it works for both those who take part in the pilot and secondly for the business. If we receive positive feedback from the team, and see that productivity is not negatively impacted, we will look to make this permanent. 

Who can take part in the 9 day fortnight pilot? 

The current pilot is for individuals working full time hours only. If you currently work less than 37.5 hours a week, and have passed your probation, you are entitled to request a change in your working pattern via the existing Acacium Group Flexible Working Policy. 

Will our start and finish times be fixed? 

Yes, just as they are now. If you choose to take part in the 9 day fortnight trial, you will have a set start and end time.   

Which day will I get off? 

The day you have off will be consistent each fortnight so we can balance service delivery with your workloads. It will not be possible to swap days off within the fortnight or ‘save’/’bank’ days and move them to a different fortnight. 

We would like people to let us know if they have a specific need for a particular day off, but we cannot confirm we will able to commit to this nor will we be able to accommodate large volumes of people having the same day off.  We are also going to ensure there is one day each week when all members of a team are working, to ensure Team Meetings aren’t disrupted. 

What does this mean for being in the office vs working from home?  

We expect that the number of days required in the office will not change but will review this on a team-by-team basis as part of the review of requests. Your line manager will be able to support you with queries you have with regard to the split of office/home days.

What will this look like for my team? 

We’ve mapped out below what this might look like for some teams as an example, but this will need to be worked through once we have all requests in across the business to understand the total number of individuals interested.  

Example 1: H&W Patient Support Team / Central Health Coaching Team / Central Diabetes Practitioner Team: those currently working 2 lates a month, plus 1 Saturday 
Utilising the core late shifts, by working each Monday and Wednesday from 9am-7pm, you will accrue 8 hours per fortnight. This will enable you to have 1 additional day off a fortnight (either a Tuesday or a Thursday), plus additional break time on those longer days. We also plan to include one of your days off during the week that you work the Saturday, meaning you will only work 5 days that week, instead of 6. 

Example 2: Teams who work 09:00-17:30 
For the teams who aren’t required to work a late shift as part of your contract, we are proposing to have two options available to you; either an earlier start or a later finish, to be agreed with your manager. You can mix and match your decision for an early start or a later finish to account for things like working from the office. 
Options are: 
a. Start work at 8:10am till 5:30pm 
b. Start work at 9am and finish work at 6:20pm 

What if we have a mix of people in the team who do and don’t request it?

We expect most teams to have a mix, and once we have all the requests in we’ll work through to see if the mix of requests we have will support our business; no one will be forced to change to a flexible work pattern. 

I’m in my first 6 months/on probation – can I request flexi working? 

Normally this wouldn’t be available during your first 6 months, but as part of the trial for next year, we’d like to offer it to all full time employees, regardless of current length of service. 

If I don’t request this now, will that mean I can’t later? 

No, you can request flexible working at any time through the usual Group process (after the trial has taken place you will need to have passed probation to apply), but we’d encourage you to take this opportunity if you’re considering it. 

What if I’m already on a flexible work pattern – will it be changed? 

Only if you request to be a part of the trial, if this would mean a change to the overall number of hours you work then please speak to your manager first. 

How will this impact holidays? 

Holidays will work the same as they do currently – they are booked in hours. So if you were working an extra 50 minutes each day, to book a day off in this new pattern you’d use 8.3 hours instead of 7.5 hours (on a 37.5 hour a week contract). 

What are the timelines? 

We’d like you to fill out the request form by 18th November 2022 if you’d like to opt in to the 9 day fortnight with condensed hours trial. It isn’t compulsory and we won’t be forcing anyone to take this offer, we understand many of you would like to retain the working pattern you already have.  

Once we’ve got all of your requests, we’ll map out what it could look like if we went ahead and understand any implications. We’ll communicate back to you towards the end of December what the trial will look like, which requests we’ve been able to accommodate and which we haven’t, and why.  We’ll also share how we’ll measure the trial so we all know what success looks like, with plans to begin the trial on 9th January 2023.   

I have some more questions, who can I speak to?

If you have any additional general questions that haven’t been answered in this FAQ document, please contact our Transformation Director; Emily Cummins emily.cummins@xylahealth.com in the first instances.

I had annual leave the week before, so I haven’t worked enough hours to have a day off – what should I do?

Don’t worry, you don’t need to accrue hours to have your day off in the 9 day fortnight pilot – it’s not a day off that you’ve accrued, it’s just your new working pattern.

If I had already booked holiday, that now clashes with a non-working day – will I get the hours added back to my allowance?

Yes, when we made the changes to ESS to reflect your new working pattern, we made sure that you would get the hours added back into your allowance, so you can use them for another day.

If I had already booked a holiday prior to the changes, which would have used 7.5 hours per day, will the changes mean that it will now take the hours that relate to my longer day instead or do I need to make any changes manually?

The system automatically take the hours that relate to your new shift pattern, so you don’t need to make any manual adjustments.

What happens if my non-working day falls on a bank holiday, will I be able to have an extra day off?

The great news is that the system will automatically add the hours for the bank holiday back to your holiday balance, so you essentially get a day’s holiday to book whenever you choose.