Flexitime pilot to commence
Pilot studies established to test the feasibility of allowing public servants to convert some of their leave into flexitime are expected to commence this month and conclude in June. Fórsa believes the studies will confirm that it’s doable, and will then want to see the facility rolled out as widely as possible.
Management reluctantly agreed to undertake the pilots during negotiations that led to the ratification of the Public Service Stability Agreement (PSSA), which was overwhelmingly backed by members of Fórsa and other public service unions.
Unions believe a provision to convert annual leave into flexitime could help staff with a temporary need for more flexible working arrangements. The terms of reference for the pilot studies, which will take place in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Kerry County Council, have been agreed with Fórsa and other unions.
It was one of two working time provisions in the PSSA, which also gives staff the option of a permanent return to ‘pre-Haddington Road’ hours on the basis of a pro-rata pay adjustment.
Although these improvements fell short of union demands for the full restoration of additional hours introduced under the Haddington Road Agreement in 2011, they at least give options to staff whose circumstances mean time is more important to them than money.