Flexible thinking around flexibility

Flexible thinking around flexibility

Not surprisingly people tend to think in straight lines but in times of crisis become a bit more innovative and creative in their thinking. This is what every UK business needs right now. We’re here to help where we can so here are some of our thoughts about resourcing, staffing, flexible working during challenging times:

Parental leave

If you are experiencing a downturn in business you might want to remind any parents you have that they are entitled to ask for 4 weeks unpaid for each child under the age of 18. This could mean someone with 2 children could ask you for 8 weeks unpaid leave during this time of school and life disruption. Of course you cannot force them, but it might be timely to remind them of this right. For more information or advice. Call us.


Again if you are experiencing a down turn, we can provide you with lay offs guidance and letters. The government guaranteed payment scheme may apply but beware lay off guarantee payments are for a maximum 5 days. You can of course lay people off for longer but this would usually be without pay. Again for advice and support please do call us.

Short time working

As aboe, this is an option if you are experiencing a downturn. Consultation in both events is crucial/legally required so don’t cut corners otherwise savings now can result in legal challenge later. For support with staff reps, letters, policies, consultation by remote means please do call us.

Changes to days of work or changes to times of work on working days

With a need for flexibility if you have someone who usually works whilst their children are at school or who have other dependent caring responsibilities, doing hours in evenings or at weekends when someone else is able to look after children/dependents is a possibility.

Such changes should be agreed in writing and for a specified time. Be careful not to permit working now that will be held up as precedent in the future by employees wishing to continue the arrangements. Written agreement referencing the why, the what, the how and the how long for all required! Don’t cut corners with the paperwork!

For template letters or even producing letters and emailing them out for you, please get in touch (no contract required)

Consultation – what do you staff suggest

IF you need to think differently then why not ask your staff. You don’t need to have all the answers so get your staff working on these problems with you. Real team work the likes of which many of our staff will never have seen is a great for bonding and problem solving so get the team onto it. No idea is too silly, what’s critical is to get all those ideas on the table and then work through what’s sensible and realistic given your current business situation.


To cope with unexpected challenges during times of restricted travel and childcare issues, consider setting up a whats app or similar group for all staff so they can share ideas and support specifically in relation to this issue. Supporting each other in a way that is unprecedented may just be a phenomenal way for staff to learn how to reconnect with each with a shared purpose – keep business running so jobs are protected!

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