The Northern Ireland Assembly has been dissolved. The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016.

Inquiry into Flexible Working Hours - Terms of Reference

Purpose: The Inquiry will aim to investigate how flexible working practices – including arrangements for how, when and where public servants undertake their work – could be implemented successfully and used strategically for maximum benefit and efficiency in the public sector in Northern Ireland.

Objectives: The Inquiry will have the following key objectives:

  • To examine the extent to which flexible working is implemented in the NICS, including a critical review of existing policy and practice regarding flexible working time and a survey of cases where developments in technology and workplace design are being used to facilitate the flexible location of work in the NICS.
  • To identify lessons from international case studies on how flexible working arrangements have been implemented effectively elsewhere to achieve benefits for employers, employees and potentially for the wider economy and society, including: increased productivity; improved staff morale and commitment; reduced staff turnover and absenteeism; wider recruitment talent pools; reduced levels of economic inactivity; reduced premises costs; promotion of gender equality in employment; and environmental benefits.
  • To consider the range of options presented by new technology and workplace design to support flexible working practices, such as mobile working, teleworking, remote conferencing, hot-desking and satellite offices, and to examine approaches to monitoring and managing performance in such circumstances.
  • To explore the types of work or job roles within the NICS which are suited to flexible working practices and
  • To consider the critical success factors, challenges, barriers and risks to introducing flexible working and how these can be managed and mitigated as appropriate.

Output: The intention is that the Inquiry will result in a report to the Northern Ireland Assembly containing evidence-based findings and recommendations to the Department of Finance and Personnel and the wider Executive. These findings and recommendations will inform the development of cross-cutting strategic policies and procedures for enhancing existing and implementing new flexible working arrangements across the NICS to maximum beneficial effect, which may also be applicable to the wider public sector in Northern Ireland.

Click here for a guide to sumitting evidence.

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