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What are compressed hours and how do they work?
Compressed hours means that you work your total contracted hours over fewer working days, for instance, you could do a full-time job in four longer days rather than five or you could do a nine-day fortnight, working slightly longer days over that period than you would if you were full time.
To request compressed hours, you need to put in a flexible working request. Compressed hours are not for everyone. The benefits include having extra time off, for instance, for caring responsibilities or other activities and not having to commute as much. Drawbacks include greater work intensity and potential fatigue.
Although flexible working is likely to change next year, the current eligibility rules are that you must:
The application from the individual must be made to the employer in writing by email or letter. The application must include:
The basic steps are:
There are eight reasons that employers can use to turn down a request:
1. The burden of additional costs
2. An inability to reorganise work amongst existing staff
3. An inability to recruit additional staff
4. A detrimental impact on quality
5. A detrimental impact on performance
6. Detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand
7. Insufficient work for the periods the employee proposes to work
8. Planned structural changes to the business.
When someone’s flexible working pattern is compressed hours then annual leave will be calculated in hours rather than days.
When one of the usual working days of an employee working compressed hours falls on a bank holiday or closure day, their usual number of hours for that day will be deducted from their leave entitlement.
This is because the hours worked on the compressed days are longer to make up the full-time hours – eg when it is a bank holiday someone who works normal office hours gets eight hours off, but someone who works compressed hours will need, say, 10 hours off.
*The Government has an online calculator where you can calculate your leave entitlement in hours based on the minimum holiday entitlement.