Torrington et al suggest that ‘the value of



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Literature review5


Consequences – primary research17

Consequences – secondary research21



Mentions And Bibliography30

Appendixs –

Appendix 132

Appendix 236


The construct of work-life balance is seeing turning popularity amongst today’s employers and employees likewise. It is suggested that employees have an increasing demand to be able to unite employment with child care duties and a desire to hold a more fulfilling life style non dominated by their occupation. Businesss are besides gaining the benefits of offering their employees flexible working forms as non merely does it let them to offer the consumer a 20 four hr a twenty-four hours, seven twenty-four hours a hebdomad service, but besides AIDSs in the enlisting and keeping of staff. The debut of flexible working policies is non merely undertaken on a voluntary footing. Legislation introduced by the UK and European authoritiess has provided a series of basic rights around flexible working, by and large applicable to those with immature kids.

This paper investigates the wider grounds for implementing such policies, how they are implemented, the benefits to both the employer and employee and the jobs encountered. By concentrating on the Halifax Bank of Scotland ( HBOS ) , comparings are made between their experiences and those of their rivals in the fiscal market. The CIPD conducted a study on flexible working patterns in 2005 and their consequences are besides utilized to compare and contrast.

The paper finds that HBOS’ experiences are similar with those of many administrations and that the key to successful execution and high degrees of take-up prevarications chiefly with the line directors. It is besides found that whilst many administrations are acute to show a desire to help their employees in accomplishing work-life balance, many provide merely the legal basic demands and there is a deficiency of invention in their policies proposing that their motive is more from the concern instance than a echt desire to heighten the life of their employees.


The construct of “work-life balance” is comparatively new to employers and employees likewise and there is no unequivocal day of the month as to when the phrase was foremost coined. Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) suggest that it has found gradual credence through the altering “value of work” [ 1 ] and that the 1980s civilization of long hours without interruptions is now traveling towards “valuing a slower and gentler pace”1which “allows more room for personal involvements, environment and family”1. They trace the beginnings of work-life balance to the debut of the construct of “downshifting”1which appeared in the 1990s and depict “swapping a life of entire committedness to work and possible high wagess, for less demanding, or parttime work, or self employment, or a combination of the three”1and note that it has been supported as a construct by national and European authorities enterprises ( Torringtonet Al2005 ) .

However, there are other definitions of what the term work-life balance really describes. The Employers for Work-Life Balance administration, portion of the Work Foundation, defines work-life balance as being about “people holding a step of control over when, where and how they work, taking them to be able to bask an optimum quality of life” . They add to this by stating “work-life balance is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm, to the common benefit of the person, concern and society” [ 2 ] . They besides, to some grade, contradict Torringtonet Al’s definition by emphasizing that “work-life balance is non merely for people who want to cut down their working hours” and point out that “many people love their work and for them the perfect “balance” is working really long hours”2.

From the background research, it is apparent that the constructs of work-life balance and flexible working patterns are inexorably linked, as a major demand for employees to be able to accomplish a balance necessitates the demand to be able to hold a grade of flexibleness in their work. CIPD ( 2005 ) , whilst saying that “flexibility in the workplace is a cloudy concept” , tend to hold more notably with Torringtonet Alas, in their study, they defined “flexible working practices” as “ the length of clip an employee plant, where they carry out the work, and the form of working, including leave and other absence taken from work” [ 3 ] .


Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) amongst others, point out that assorted statute law introduced during recent old ages by the authorities and the EU, has led to many companies being lawfully required to present some signifier of flexible working patterns, thereby bettering an employee’s opportunities of achieving a work-life balance. On the whole, these pieces of statute law recognise the demands of employees with household duties, preponderantly those with immature kids. The countries of these Torahs back uping work- life balance can be summarised as:

Antenatal attention – pregnant employees are entitled to bespeak sensible paid clip off to go to medical assignments related to the gestation ;

Maternity leave – although a longstanding jurisprudence, this was altered in 2003 to cover:

Ordinary pregnancy leave – up to 26 hebdomads leave entitlement from 11 hebdomads before the due day of the month with full entitlement to benefits excepting wage ( covered by statutory pregnancy wage ) and a right to return to the same occupation unless it has been made redundant in which instance suited alternate employment must be offered

Compulsory pregnancy leave – for two hebdomads after the birth

Additional pregnancy leave – leave can be extended up to one twelvemonth but benefits may be curtailed, except those covered by the Working Time Directive e.g. holiday accrual and the right to return to the same occupation merely if moderately practical.

Parental, paternity and acceptance leave – 13 hebdomads unpaid leave during the first five old ages of the child’s life or the acceptance of the kid, increased to 18 hebdomads of the first 18 old ages if the kid is disabled.

Time off for dependents – the right to take a sensible period of clip off during working hours for pressing household grounds. The right of parents of immature kids to bespeak any signifier of flexible working [ 4 ] .

However, it is non merely the debut of statute law that has encouraged administrations to see offering flexible work options. The CIPD ( 2005 ) study “Flexible Working: Impact and Implementation” found that respondents gave keeping and the demand to run into employee’s demands as the most common grounds for presenting flexible on the job patterns. Merely a one-fourth of the respondents gave “supporting concern needs” as a “very of import reason” for utilizing flexible working, with the same proportion mentioning “meeting customers’ needs” [ 5 ] . Furthermore, about a 3rd of respondents said that flexible working patterns helped with enlisting5.

Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) feel that the benefits to administrations of presenting work-life balance policies include chances to “reduce absence ( particularly unplanned absence ) , raise morale and addition degrees of occupation satisfaction” [ 6 ] . They besides suggest that public presentation improves as employees are less tired and hence, more effectual ( Torringtonet Al2005 ) . Kodzet Al( 2002 ) noted betterments in work productiveness and quality every bit good as in the enlisting and keeping of staff. Similarly, Perry-Smith and Bloom ( 2000 ) surveyed 527 US houses and found that “higher organizational performance” occurred as a consequence of “bundles of work-life balance policies” [ 7 ] .

Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) besides feel that there is force per unit area for administrations to present policies back uping work-life balance due to “the altering demographic makeup or our possible workforce” [ 8 ] . Beardwellet Al( 2001 ) refer to the “demographic clip bomb” [ 9 ] which is the jutting shrinking of the possible employee base due to an addition in the proportion of the population over retirement age. This has motivated employers to present policies and patterns to pull and retain people of which flexible working options are a common subject.

Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) besides point to the increasing figure of adult females re come ining the work force holding had kids and desiring to “combine household and work responsibilities” [ 8 ] and the desire of the Government and employers to promote this as being a drive force behind the debut of “family-friendly” policies. A study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that both parents work outside the place of two tierces of households in the UK and that 14 % of female parents and 17 % of male parents work hours outside the typical scope of 9 am to 5 autopsy during the hebdomad and the over a 3rd of female parents and over a half of male parents work weekend displacements every month [ 10 ] . Similarly, there is grounds of older members of the work force stopping point to retirement who want to stay in employment but with less hours or more flexible work forms. Both these groups could supply some alleviation from the “demographic clip bomb” .

Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) raise the point that many older workers may hold caring duties for their parents, once more necessitating them to be able to take advantage of flexible on the job patterns. Unison point out that “one in eight grownups in Britain look after or supply some regular attention to a sick or aged person” [ 1 ] 0. This is besides supported by the statute law around clip off for dependants.

A farther issue felt to be promoting employers to follow flexible working policies is that of the “24/7” [ 8 ] society, whereby clients are anticipating many signifiers of concern to be accessible all twenty-four hours, every twenty-four hours. Noonet Alidentified in 1997 that “individual working hours are being decoupled from runing hours” [ 8 ] and that more flexible working forms would be needed in a wider scope of industries that those presently runing around the clock.

The prolongation of concern hours is besides given by Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) as one of the grounds for the addition in work related emphasis. They cite the work of Holbeche and McCartney who found that “employees were sing anxiousness, work overload, loss of control, force per unit area, long hours and deficient personal time” [ 11 ] . This is supported by the findings of a study conducted jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Work-Life Balance Campaign and Management Today Magazine which found that ”almost a 3rd ( 29 % ) of employees with high emphasis degrees work more than 10 hours over their contractual hours every week”12and that “seven out of 10 extremely stressed workers do non hold entree to any formal flexible working practices” [ 12 ] .

Overall, there are a assortment of grounds why work-life balance policies are being introduced by administrations and there are non merely a solid legal and concern instance, but besides the instance for societal duty towards their employees.

As has been seen, the construct of work-life balance is defined by many as flexible working hours. Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) note that work-life balance means “different things to different people, depending on their age, life fortunes, values, involvements, personality and so on” [ 13 ] . The common options can be summarised as:

parttime – working less than a standard 40 hr hebdomad

flexitime – working contracted hours outside the standard 9 – 5 displacement

compressed hebdomad – working the contracted hours in less than five yearss

one-year hours – accomplishing contracted hours averaged over a twelvemonth

term-time working – unpaid clip off during school vacations

occupation portion – two or more employees employed to carry through a full clip place

displacement trading – being able to interchange a clip period of work with another employee

unpaid leave – fetching clip off, normally a short period

unpaid sabbaticals – taking clip off normally a long period

working from place – working contracted hours off from the usual topographic point of work thereby extinguishing transposing clip [ 14 ] .

CIPD ( 2005 ) concur that these are the most common options, but besides identified a wider scope of flexible working options. They included nomadic working, endorsements to other administrations and clip off to work in the community [ 15 ] . Whilst some administrations do offer these picks to their employees, they are in the minority. CIPD ( 2005 ) found that “the most prevailing flexible working pattern is parttime working, with nine in 10 study respondents offering this option to their employees” [ 16 ] . However, CIPD ( 2005 ) travel on to oppugn the inclusion of the option to work portion clip as a flexible working policy reasoning that it is so “ingrained” in administrations that “it no longer appears to stand for an illustration of flexible working” [ 17 ]

Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) refer to what they call the “take up gap”13as the difference between demand and take up of flexible work options. They believe there is a considerable difference between the two and mention the work of Hogarth who found that “47 % of employees non presently utilizing flexitime would wish to make so” [ 18 ] but does non propose why or how to get the better of this job.

Ward ( 2005 ) supports this and cites the TUC study ( Changing Times ) which found that whilst 150,000 employees have taken up the right to work flexibly since the debut of the statute law in 2003, more so three quarters of the work force do non work flexible hours and that more than 500,000 people have been refused in their petition to work shorter hours ( Ward 2005 ) .

There are two countries of account as to why flexible working is non more widespread in administrations in the UK. First, the employees may non be bespeaking it. There may be several grounds for this including the concern over the impact of bespeaking a flexed work form on calling development. This is supported by the work of Hogarthet Al( 2001 ) who found that the bulk of male employees felt that working portion clip would be damaging to their calling chances. Similarly, Glynnet Al( 2002 ) found illustrations of employees who, holding reduced their hours, were faced with a work load the same as they had when on full clip hours. This may be due to the external force per unit area of direction or the internal force per unit area of experiencing a demand to turn out themselves [ 19 ] , but can move as barrier to those contemplating flexible working forms. Furthermore, many employees may happen it financially impossible to cut down their hours due to the corresponding decrease in wage.

Flexible working policies are non seen as being good by all and there is grounds that “the accent is on family-friendly steps, and non on work-life balance for all” [ 20 ] . The issue of flexible working patterns being requested most by those with childcare duties is thought by Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) to make an issue in that work-life balance can be “ghettoised”18, as something done for adult females with kids who are non interested in existent careers”18and this may farther deter employees from bespeaking flexibleness.

The 2nd ground for deficiency of consumption may be due to administrations unwillingness to advertise what is available to their employees or due to fiscal restraints.

McCartney believes administrations may be unwilling to do the option of volunteering in peculiar widely known “because they fear an avalanche or petitions that they would be unable to handle” [ 21 ] .

Bibby ( 2002 ) investigated the fiscal restraints and studies on the jobs encountered by the AA who found that the costs of puting up employees as homeworkers i.e. engineering and substructure, off-set the increased productiveness unless the homeworkers were 50 % more productive that site based staff. Bibby points out that “to addition such productiveness tight direction and measuring of home-based teleworkers is necessary” [ 22 ] .

Despite this CPD ( 2005 ) found that merely over a one-fourth of the respondents employees “make usage of flexible working arrangements” [ 23 ] with two tierces describing an mean addition in take-up of 20 % in the last three old ages [ 24 ] . They besides identified the chief jobs with execution were “operational pressures” , “concerns about line directors ability to pull off persons working more flexibly and their attitudes to flexible working” , “line directors troubles in implementing flexible working practices” and “senior degree support and the prevalent organizational culture”23.

This concern with the accent on the manager’s function in finding the success or failure of flexible on the job patterns is echoed by several authors. Glynnet Al( 2002 ) place that “whether or non there is a work-life balance policy in being, it is frequently line directors who will be the chief supreme authorities of whether work-life balance policies become a reality…both by their attitudes and direction practices” [ 25 ] .

The Work Foundation besides found that directors were “the chief barrier to introducing and implementing work-life balance policies” [ 26 ] .

MacDermidet Alidentified three specific jobs for directors: the troubles in developing employees who worked part-time ; pull offing a scope of different working understandings and make fulling those functions which required full clip employees [ 27 ] . The CIPD study ( 2005 ) investigated the barriers to implementing flexible working policies that the respondents had found. There research found operational force per unit areas to be the chief restraint. They do non stipulate what these are precisely, but it is likely to include the troubles in direction. Torringtonet Alurge the usage of “work-life champions” [ 28 ] to get the better of the long hours civilizations. They besides suggest that direction should be encouraged to go “role models” by working flexibly themselves27. Kodzet Alfound that “managers felt abandoned and did non acquire the support they needed” [ 29 ] so it would look hence, that a cardinal phase of the execution procedure should include the preparation of directors to guarantee they have the accomplishments to back up the programme. Janman ( 2002 ) supports this and suggests that directors should hold specific accomplishments in communciation, training and authorization ( Janman 2002 ) . Glynnet Al( 2002 ) add to this by foregrounding the demand for directors to be able to defy force per unit area from other sections in the administration and program, agenda and delegate efficaciously based on the abilites of their squad members ( Glynnet Al2002 ) proposing that the whole civilization of an administration needs to be able to back up work-life balance enterprises. Some administrations have provided their directors with preparation to back up the debut of flexible on the job patterns. McCartney ( 2003 ) reported that Ford Europe “provides seminars related to work-life balance subjects such as stress direction, how persons should pull off their ain working agreements, pregnancy and returning to work and new father’s workshops” [ 30 ] . Similarly, BT “offers e larning bundles on accomplishments to enable balance, optimizing the public presentation of flexible squads and judging which functions are suited for place working” [ 31 ] .

The Work Foundation remark that to implement work-life balance policies, directors must “shift the manner in which they measure staff, necessitating more attempt in judging public presentation and end product instead than clip spent making the job” [ 32 ] . Directors require the accomplishment to distance manage and this once more must be supported by the administrations civilization.

McCartney ( 2003 ) agrees with the importance of the administrations civilization and says that “to thrive, work-life balance needs a supportive organisational civilization that has sympathetic values and patterns at its core” [ 33 ] . McCartney goes on to underscore the importance of preparation professionals in this.

Several authors highlight the demand to hold a robust system in topographic point for employees to bespeak flexible work options and for these petitions to be judged. Torringtonet Al( 2005 ) place the chief jobs to be the concerns of the directors sing responses to petitions for flexible hours and the possible result to them of a hapless determination and the force per unit area and possible fiscal deductions of non run intoing public presentation marks because of flexible working agreements. Some administrations have identified these issues and taken stairss to turn to the manager’s concerns. LloydsTSB introduced their programme, Work Options, in March 1999. A cardinal constituent of their policies is that when an employee petitions flexible working, it is considered strictly from a concern point of position instead than the ground for the petition. This freed directors from holding to do a “value judgement” on each instance [ 34 ] .

A concern in flexible working patterns is the direction of those working from place. Felsteadet Al( 2003 ) identified this specific issue and found that there is a normally held belief that place workers are less productive. They besides found that place workers were cognizant of this perceptual experience and worked harder and for longer hours to turn out themselves. It was besides noticed that there are jobs in incorporating place workers into the squad and it produced a barrier to the exchange of cognition. They went on to propose that place workers might necessitate specific features to be successful.

In drumhead, whilst work-life balance policies are going more popular and are introduced in administrations under the name of flexible working patterns, there are concerns over whether they are viewed as being designed strictly to carry through legal demands and applied to female parents of immature kids merely. Furthermore, the scope of options by and large available is limited in most companies further proposing a response to the debut of statute law instead than being a committed effort to heighten the work-life balance of their employees. Where patterns are implemented, there can be issues with line directors accomplishments degrees in the direct supervising and public presentation direction of employees working outside normal displacement hours and many of these directors find it hard to confidently assess a petition for flexible working. To implement flexible working patterns successfully, administrations must guarantee the civilization of the of the concern supports it and that the directors are adequately trained.

The beginnings of the Halifax Bank of Scotland can be traced back to 1852 when it was set up as a common society for local investors and borrowers. The Halifax Permanent Benefit Building Society was officially established at the terminal of the twelvemonth. The company successfully expanded over the undermentioned old ages and by 1928 was able to unify with the Halifax Equitable to make the Halifax Building Society which automatically became the industry leader in footings of assets. In the late 1980’s, the company was able to spread out its portfolio of offerings due to new statute law and entered into the stock broking, insurance, personal banking and estate bureau markets. In the mid 1990s, the Halifax Building Society merged with theLeeds Permanent Building Society, and acquiredClerical Medical. In 1997, they converted to plc position and acquired Birmingham Midshires two old ages subsequently. Towards the terminal of 2001, Halifax was the largest supplier of mortgages and nest eggs in the United Kingdom and they merged with the Bank of Scotland to go HBOS plc [ 35 ] . HBOS feel that they have a clearly defined scheme “to have a truly typical proposition for our customers” [ 36 ] and they have expanded into the international market with subdivisions in Australia and Ireland.

They service over 20 million clients whose demands they aim to carry through by supplying indispensable services through a assortment of distribution options, adding to the convenience for clients, and merchandises that offer good value for money.

HBOS is taking to do farther efficiency additions to set up higher stockholder net incomes ( HBOS website ) .

HBOS province that they take their corporate duties earnestly and state that “as one of the UK ‘s prima fiscal administrations we have a immense presence in the community non merely through the merchandises and services that we provide to persons, but by using more than 60,000 people. We are committed to beef uping and adding value to these communities where we live and work” [ 37 ] .

HBOS introduced a scope of schemes in 2004 to get the better of some major operational issues caused by the amalgamation with Bank of Scotland. Comprising of three stages, the 3rd stage concentrated on the execution of work-life balance policies known jointly as FLEXTRA [ 38 ] . Building on the 2nd stage, which had seen a alteration of policy to turn the Numberss of parttime workers, FLEXTRA aimed to “create a echt work-life balance for all co-workers within the centre” [ 39 ] . There are two chief facets to FLEXTRA, foremost “roster trade-offs” where a assortment of displacement forms were introduced to guarantee unsociable hours demands could be fulfilled by forms of work that complemented different life styles. Second, employees who opted into FLEXTRA besides had entree to farther benefits that enabled so to “change displacements and acquire clip off more flexibly than before” [ 40 ] . The alterations to the displacement forms were seen as a major benefit, peculiarly to full-timers who “no longer work precisely the same displacements each hebdomad, which had been common, but now have a rotating form which gives them a specific mix of displacements over a 6 or 8 hebdomad period that combine some weekend and/or flushing working with clip off during the ordinary working day”38. By offering a scope of displacement forms, people could choose the option that most suited their life style by, for illustration, working later in the twenty-four hours and holding the weekend away. Having identified that weekends were most of import to the employees, HBOS guarantees 12 months notice of weekend working. The full scope of options available are: “time-banking, displacement barters ( with other sites ) , displacement slides/changes ( where impersonal concern impact ) , pick in tiffin interruption continuance, personal pick yearss, pick of consistent start times or un-clustered forms, term-time working option and pupil proposition”38. Personal Choice Days are two yearss a twelvemonth which the employee can stipulate that they do non desire to work. The Professional Planning Forum instance survey suggests that feedback from the employees on FLEXTRA seems to be positive. They quote employees as seeing the benefits of being able to travel a displacement start clip if their train is tardily, being able to take a twenty-four hours off at short notice if their kid was sick and the option to travel place if a twenty-four hours was quiet and they weren’t required and work a different twenty-four hours alternatively38. One employee is quoted as stating “this is the best thing that’s happened”41and a director stated that the benefits included “we’re non as busy because we have the right people in the right topographic point at the right time” [ 41 ] . The concern benefits have been measured as good with Professional Planning Forum describing them as “halving illness, cut downing abrasion by 15 % points and increasing the yearss within service degree from 3 % to 96 % within 6 months”39. The Head of Resource Planning, Nick Flowers, summarised the success as “like many fiscal establishments we are looking for more cross-skilling and more cross-sales. FLEXTRA has given the concern the headway to develop people and it’s given people the encouragement to raise things to a different level”39.

Amicus, the trade brotherhood recognised by HBOS, has reported “numerous positive flexible working stories” [ 42 ] from HBOS employees but besides remarks that they have received “numerous calls sing the confusion that exists between flexible working, overtime and time-off in lieu”40.

The Professional Planning Forum found that a major factor in the success of the programme was the “Operations Support Team”38which enabled the employees to set in their petitions over the phone instead than “the industry tendency towards web or kiosk entree to book clip off”38. The Professional Planning Forum reports that the employees felt that “having the phone-line unfastened from early to late makes them experience much more in control”38. The Professional Planning Forum besides report that long-run planning is improved and that “99 % of co-workers got foremost or 2nd pick for all of their holidays” as “there is now more range for short-notice flexibleness leting more lea-way in the long-run planning process” [ 43 ] . The Professional Planning Forum felt that a farther step of the success of the programme could be seen in the take-up of the programme and that “in June 2004, less than 5 % ( of employees ) were on flexible rolls, by March 2005 60 % had already volunteered for FLEXTRA” [ 44 ] .

The Professional Planning Forum study that a key to the success of the FLEXTRA programme was the execution scheme. They province that “the undertaking was treated really much like a selling run, with a good budget for promotional stuffs and every bit much committedness as when Halifax was establishing the new current account”44. Furthermore, the Professional Planning Forum study that “the full engagement of all the operational and squad directors was vital” and that ”HR’s function in the undertaking was perfectly critical” and see this as “a clear industry tendency for successful resourcing projects”42.

There were, nevertheless, jobs in the execution as all employees were impacted instead than merely those who had opted into the programme. This was caused by the high degree of multiskilling and the bing roll forms ( Professional Planning Forum 2005 ) . However, the Professional Planning Forum study that “implementation was made possible by the top-level understanding to suspend big parts of the daily work”42.

Once the FLEXTRA programme had been developed, it’s role-out was carefully planned and involved preparation directors in it’s content and application, staff briefing Sessionss including clip for inquiries and replies, postings, articles on the intranet and reminders printed on payslips. Opt-in was entirely voluntary, but much accent was given in the communicating scheme of the wider options that could be accessed by those who took it up.


In this paper both primary and secondary research have been carried out. The secondary research identified, from a series of published instance surveies, what actions HBOS’s rivals had implemented in relation to work-life balance patterns, how they had implemented them, what the effects were and what jobs they had encountered. Primary research was so carried out with HBOS to be able to compare their scope of offerings and experiences with those of their rivals.

To measure the debut of work-life balance into HBOS, it was decided to utilize inquiries based on those of the CIPDs study study “Flexible Working: Impact and Implementation an Employee Survey” ( CIPD 2005 ) to move as a baseline. By utilizing many of the same inquiries as they had done, interesting comparings could be made between their consequences conducted over the private, public and voluntary sectors with the responses from HBOS employees and the information signifier the instance surveies to analyze whether their FLEXTRA programme showed typical features in its execution, consumption, success and jobs. Some of the original CIPD inquiries were non used in this study as they were thought to be irrelevant.

The study population consisted of one human resources section ( HR ) representative, 12 managerial staff and 50 non-managerial employees. The HR representative was head office based and was questioned via telephone. The other respondents were from five high street subdivisions of HBOS and were questioned face-to-face over a period of three yearss. It is noted that the CIPD study questioned HR representatives merely. For the intent of this research, it was considered valuable to oppugn non-HR employees every bit good to mensurate their cognition, consciousness and perceptual experiences as these could be compared to both the base line study and the HR representative’s replies. The managerial and non managerial employees responses are assessed individually merely in the country of finding the jobs with execution, as it was felt that this would be a valuable indicant of the perceptual experiences of the two different groups. The consequences are shown in appendices 1 and 2 with the HR representative’s answers being shown individually as appendix 1 to be able to measure the difference between HBOS’ functionary point of view versus their employee’s sentiments, perceptual experiences and experiences.

In the CIPD survey study, it is non made clear as to whether the replies given were selected from a scope of multiple pick options or if the scope of replies given has been grouped into the consequences shown. For the primary research in this paper, multiple-choice options were used for the managerial and non-managerial populations so that an effectual comparing could be made. It is noted that a restriction of this research is that utilizing multiple pick options may hold led the respondents to choose replies they would non otherwise have considered.

The secondary research is noted by the author to hold a restriction in that non all the countries examined e.g. execution, benefits, jobs, are covered in all the instance surveies. However, it is considered that there is ample information provided to do a valid comparing.

For the primary research all inquiries except 14 and 15 were asked of the HR representative and were assumed to be the companies view. This allowed the ideas and sentiments of the other employees to be compared against the existent instance. For easiness of mention in the methodological analysis, consequences, treatment and decision, the non-HR employees are referred to as the employees as a group and divided into managerial staff and non-managerial staff where appropriate.

Question 1 was asked to find the employee’s consciousness of what was available to all staff and what was restricted to some staff in footings of flexible on the job patterns.

Question 2 was asked to find what degree of importance the employee thought the company placed on each possible ground for presenting the policies. This was to find whether the employees believed it was for their benefit as persons or strictly for concern grounds. Similarly, inquiry 3 was asked to find the sensed benefits to the company and to themselves of the policies.

Question 4 was asked to find sentiment of the take-up degrees of flexible on the job patterns and inquiry 5 investigated the sensed differences in take-up degrees between occupational groups.

Question 6 examined what factors the employees believed should be considered when finding the effectivity of flexible on the job patterns. By inquiring this inquiry of the employees it could be seen what they would see to be an effectual finding of success e.g. company consequences or employee sentiment.

Questions 7 and 8 were asked to estimate the success of the execution program overall and it’s single constituents.

Questions 9 and 10 looked at the jobs in following flexible on the job patterns with inquiry 10 being asked of the non-managerial employees to look into what jobs they thought the direction encountered.

Question 11 explored what support was known to be by directors and non-management employees to assist them cover with petitions and do petitions severally.

Question 12 looked at the factors that prevented people from bespeaking more flexible working forms than they really currenty have and it was emphasised that this related to them specifically, non the barriers they though others experienced.

Question 13 explored what actions they were cognizant of the company presenting to get the better of the jobs that were being experienced.

Question 14 was in four parts and was asked of the non-managerial employees to estimate the impact on their feelings approximately HBOS as an employer and the impact on their work life balance following the debut of FLEXTRA. It besides measured what proportion of the sample had requested flexible working forms and what proportion had been agreed. They were besides asked what farther actions HBOS could take to better their work-life balance.

The same set of four inquiries was asked of the managerial group in inquiry 15.

For both groups, the replies to inquiries 14 and 15 were to derive qualitative informations to contrast with the quantitative informations collected in the other inquiries.


The non-HR employees were cognizant that parttime working, term clip working and flexitime were available to all staff. However about half of them ( 47 % ) thought that occupation portion was available, about a one-fourth ( 24 % ) thought that tight hours was an option, 10 % believed that calling breaks/sabbaticals and endorsements to other administrations were possibilities and a little proportion ( 3 % ) believed one-year hours to be portion of the flexible working patterns. In all these instances, the non-HR employees who thought these were available idea they were merely unfastened to some staff. The HR representative had stated that job-share, tight hours ; one-year hours, calling breaks/sabbaticals and endorsements to other administrations or one-year hours were available to any staff. The non-HR respondents thought that senior directors would be able to entree these options.

The non-HR employees by and large right identified the grounds that the HR representative gave for the company’s debut of flexible on the job patterns. They identified the chief grounds as enlisting and keeping whilst maximizing the usage of company premises was seen as non of import. They gave enlisting a somewhat higher mark ( 4.48 mean ) than the HR representative who rated it at 4. The HR representative gave the ground “to support employer brand” as a really of import factor, whilst the employees themselves gave it a average mark of 3.7. The employees underestimated the demand to follow with statute law evaluation it at a mean of 4.4 with about a one-fourth ( 24 % ) saying they didn’t cognize of this demand.

The employees felt that motive, absence degrees and client service were the chief countries that had been positively affected by the FLEXTRA programme. The HR representative besides rated these extremely along with keeping, enlisting and productiveness ( wholly rated as holding a major positive consequence ) . The employees rated these three countries as sing a positive consequence instead than negative, but nto every bit positive as the HR representative had thought giving them average tonss of 3, 3.9 and 3.3 severally. The bulk of employees ( 91.9 % and 62.9 % severally ) thought that teamwork and cognition sharing had been negatively affected by the FLEXTRA programme whereas the HR representative idea at that place had been neither a positive nor negative consequence by evaluation them as 3. Both the HR representative and the employees thought there had been no consequence in footings of the psychological contract although 95.2 % of the employees did non cognize what the term meant.

Merely 27 % of the employees estimated the take-up rate as being in the same scope given by the HR representative. It is assumed that the HR representative’s take-up figure would be accurate and it does hold with the figure identified in the literature reappraisal. The bulk of employees ( 63 % ) thought that the take-up rate was lower than this.

Appraisals as to take-up degrees by occupational groups were extremely inaccurate by the employee respondents. They believed that senior directors and professional staff had the highest take up rates ( 81.1 % and 80.1 % severally ) . The HR representative rated these groups take up rates as being low. The HR representative gave the take-up rate for middle/junior direction as medium whereas the employee group estimated it to be low. For administrative/secretarial/technical groups, gross revenues and clients service forces and alumnus trainees, the employee respondents right estimated the return up rates to be high, high and low severally the same as was given by the HR representative.

The employees right identified most of the factors that were being used to mensurate the effectivity of the flexible working patterns with all of them believing employee opinion/attitude studies should be used. However, 74.1 % believed that the figure of flexible working requests/ entreaties against those declined was a utile step of effectivity whilst the HR representative said that this was non a step used. A little proportion ( 4.8 % ) of employees thought that the usage of resources was a step that would be utile, but once more the HR representative said that this was non used.

The bulk of the employees ( 61.3 % ) rated themselves as 4 in footings of how cognizant they are of the flexible working patterns available to them. Merely 16.1 % idea they were either cognizant or incognizant with no respondents giving lower than this. The HR representative believed all the employees to be really cognizant of the patterns.

The HR representative cited all the options of communicating as being used for the FLEXTRA rollout. Almost all ( 93.5 % in both instances ) of the employees were cognizant of the inclusion of the programme in regular communicating events and of particular communicating events being held. All of them were cognizant of the promotional stuff that had been used although merely 24.2 % had been cognizant of the posting run. Less than three quarters ( 74 % ) had received preparation in the patterns and this figure ( 45 ) included all the managerial staff.

The HR representative gave operational force per unit areas and line directors ability to efficaciously line manages flexible workers as the lone restraints in implementing FLEXTRA. Whilst the employee respondents agreed with these ( 95.2 % and 58.1 % severally ) they placed less accent on the line directors and more accent on client service demands ( 88.7 % ) , bing administration civilization ( 59.7 % ) and deficiency of senior degree support ( 67.8 % ) .

The HR representative besides gave merely inability to command the work force as the lone job encountered when covering with petitions for flexible working whereas the bulk of the managerial group found holding to show equity between different employees ( 100 % ) , jobs with pass oning with their squad ( 91.7 % ) , a menace to their ability to pull off ( 83.3 % ) an inability to command the work force ( 75 % ) , reduced productiveness ( 75 % ) and public presentation direction jobs ( 75 % ) as being major barriers when covering with petitions for flexible working. The non-managerial group identified the troubles in showing equity as the major job ( 90 % ) , but besides saw communicating jobs as being relevant ( 68 % ) .

Whilst the HR representative gave all the options for support as holding been used, the option of advice/guidance on the intranet was the lone 1 that all the directors were cognizant of. Whilst most of them ( 66.7 % and 83.3 % severally ) were cognizant of preparation classs and written advice/guidance, less than half were cognizant of coaching and feedback from HR and information about legal demands as being available ( 41.6 % and 33.3 % severally ) . A big proportion of the non-managerial employee group were cognizant of the written advice/guidance and advice/guidance on the intranet ( 98 % and 96 % severally ) . Merely 12 % were cognizant of preparation classs and non were cognizant of the options of coaching/feedback from HR or information about legal demands.

The HR representative and the employees respondents were by and large in understanding as to the factors that prevented employees from inquiring for flexible working with the HR representative and the employees evaluation all the options as three or below for all the possible grounds. The one exclusion to this is the fright of their petition being refused by the administration which the HR representative rated as a 1 and the employees gave a average mark of 3.2.

The employee respondents were by and large incognizant of the stairss being taken to turn to their concerns about requesting/requests for flexible working with merely bettering communicating and including inquiries of flexible working pattern in the employee opinion/attitude studies given as stairss by more so half the respondents ( 77.4 % and 56.5 % severally ) . Less than a one-fourth ( 19.3 % ) were cognizant that preparation and development chances were being made available to people working flexibly and under 10 % knew of promoting directors to function pattern the return up, foregrounding the chances in occupation adverts and concentrating occupation descriptions on end products. All of the respondents giving these three answers were from the managerial group.

The bulk ( 68 % ) of the non-managerial employees felt much more positive approximately HBOS as an employer since the debut of FLEXTRA. Merely one individual said they felt much less positive with the balance experiencing more positive. In the remarks given it is noted that there was consciousness that a batch of employers have introduced similar programmes but that this didn’t detract from their positive feelings about HBOS. Besides shown was an grasp that the company had non merely introduced FLEXTRA for the employees benefit and that it had a concern instance every bit good. Again, the bulk ( 60 % ) felt that there had been a positive impact on their work-life balance although one individual felt it had a negative impact and one idea it had a important negative impact. The remarks suggest that the employees are cognizant that the biggest benefits were to those who had kids and the two with the negative response felt that this put them under the load of holding to make unsociable hours. There were many suggestions as to how HBOS could farther better it’s flexible on the job patterns with supplying more options, doing them available to everyone and being more just in who they allow to utilize them being the most popular ( 90 % , 84 % and 76 % severally ) . A proportion ( 10 % ) wanted the company to give full clip wage for portion clip hours and 36 % wanted increased wage for working unsociable hours. Career interruptions were suggested by 6 % . About three quarters ( 74 % ) of the sample population had requested flexible hours and of these 70 % were accepted with merely two people holding their petition refused.

In the managerial population, merely half the respondents said that they viewed HBOS much more positively as an employer since the debut of FLEXTRA with a farther 17 % experiencing more positive. A important proportion 33 % , felt less positive. From the remarks given the concerns would look to be around the jobs encountered with their staff working flexible hours, specifically, the direction of these staff. It was besides mentioned that despite working flexible hours, they still had to finish the same sum of work.

This was echoed in the undermentioned inquiry where a sum of 50 % of this population felt that FLEXTRA had a negative or important negative impact on their work-life balance. The inflictions on the direction group of either working flexible hours themselves or of holding staff working flexible hours seemed to do their occupation more hard and thereby had a negative consequence on their work-life balance. Merely one individual stated it had a important positive impact and two, a positive impact. Whilst they gave similar ways in which FLEXTRA could be improved as the non-managerial group, calling interruptions was a much more popular suggestion ( 83.3 % ) and they would besides wish to see HR take duty for make up one’s minding whether or non to accept a petition for flexible working. Merely on individual suggested that the options should be made available to everyone.

Merely three of the direction population had requested flexible hours and two of these were refused.


The Employers for Work-Life Balance Organisation has completed a series of instance surveies on the flexible working options available a scope of administrations. These include a figure of fiscal establishments relevant to this survey. The patterns available in well-known fiscal administrations are summarised in the tabular array below:


Countrywide Building Society

Natwest Group


Royal Bank of Scotland

Yorkshire Building Society

Part clip working




Flexible working






Job portion




Term clip working




Annual hours


Seasonal working


Home working




Paternity leave

5 yearss

3 yearss

Subsidised baby’s room topographic points


Childcare verifiers


Employee support/counselling/helpline




Assorted leave strategies



Extended pregnancy leave

Up to 63 hebdomads

Career interruption

Yttrium – up to 5 old ages


Compressed working hebdomad



Maternity and acceptance “phase back”


“wind down to retirement”


The instance surveies besides examine why the policies were introduced, jobs that were/are encountered and the sensed benefits. The cardinal points are summarised below.


With 77,000 employees in the UK, Lloyds has received a high degree of promotion and congratulations for their work-life balance patterns and policies. The cardinal enterprises they have introduced are: flexible work forms, enhanced pregnancy and parental leave to a upper limit of 63 hebdomads, 3 yearss paternity leave, compassionate and exigency leave, up to five old ages calling interruption and a guidance and employee support programme [ 45 ] . The benefits that LloydsTSB give from presenting these policies are interesting as they cite both “extended service provision” and “?350,000 media value of positive publicity” [ 46 ] in the top five proposing that their motive is non strictly for the public assistance of their employees but besides the concern benefits. LloydsTSB introduced their policies following their preparation by focal point groups and external advisers ( TUC 2005 ) . Having initiated a petition for flexible working, employees are provided with a counsel battalion to assist them do a concern instance which they so discuss with their director. The instance analyze provinces that supervising takes topographic point and that staff are informed of advancement through their newssheet ( TUC 2005 ) . They besides province that “of the applications received: 93 % were approved, 23 % were from managers” and “15 % were from men” [ 47 ] . They quote the LloydsTSB Head of Equal Opportunities as stating that the benefits are: “there is a really clear concern jussive mood for us, as what differentiates us from our rivals is the quality of people. To keep that border we need to enroll and retain the right quality of personnel”45.

Countrywide Building Society.

Countrywide Building Society province that the concern benefits of presenting flexible on the job policies are that by “recognising the demand for employees to equilibrate their place and working life enables us to enroll and retain high quality people and guarantee that they are motivated and committed to the organisation” [ 48 ] . They go on to give an illustration for the cost nest eggs in stating “the 30 % addition in our rate of return from pregnancy leave over the last 10 old ages has saved us over ?3 million”46. Nationwide give the issues around flexible working forms as those associating to the direction of flexible workers and the instance analyze provinces that “it nowadayss them with certain challenges, peculiarly where traditional supervising agreements by direction have to be re-evaluated”46.

Natwest Group.

The Natwest Group besides feels that the benefits of flexible working patterns are “reduced staff turnover, increased keeping of cardinal accomplishments and experience ; raised employee committedness and motivation” and that “it supports the development of a diverse workforce” [ 49 ] .

Royal Bank of Scotland ( RBS ) .

The RBS identified that non merely did they have a big proportion of female staff with immature kids but besides that other employees “are seeking a fuller life outside work, with clip to give to personal interests” [ 50 ] . They besides note that “there is a demand to retain concern legerity in an progressively competitory market”48. They developed a scope of options for flexible working in 2002 which can be accessed by all employees, non merely these with lovingness duties. They supported the execution with the usage of Business Champions and a comprehensive communications scheme. They evaluated the impact through including inquiries related to these policies in their one-year employee attitude study50. RBS has identified the concern benefits of their policies as being “more flexible and nimble concern, reduced employee turnover, reduced sickness absence, increased keeping of cardinal accomplishments and experience, increased employee committedness and motive ( and ) attractive force of quality campaigners for positions”48. They do non bespeak how these benefits have been identified or measured and are cognizant that many employees see the policies as being directed to female parents and carers.

The Yorkshire Building Society.

The Yorkshire Building Society adopted flexible on the job patterns due to place demands associating to “attracting a wider pool of possible employees, back uping the purpose of being an “Employer of Choice” in the country, promoting more applications, bettering keeping of experient staff and cut downing absenteeism, bettering employee satisfaction and productiveness, increasing flexibleness enabling the Society to accommodate to altering concern scheme such as the demand for longer gap hours etc.” [ 51 ] . Their development and execution scheme was robust. Having conducted extended research into their competitor’s activities in this country, they engaged the senior direction squad and non-managerial staff in audience to derive a full apprehension of their work-life balance demands. Following a pilot strategy, the programme was adopted across the concern and supported by briefing battalions and a “formal rating framework” for directors to measure flexible working petitions49based strictly on concern impact. Four old ages after its debut, 254 employees had applied for flexible working and merely 40 had been rejected49. The Yorkshire Building Society estimation that over half of their employees now work under flexitime agreements. They have measured the benefits to the concern as being that “of all the adult females taking pregnancy leave in 2004, 56.25 % have decided to return to the Society, 79 % of staff are satisfied with the Society as an employer, ( and t

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