Flexi Time Manager

Glossary

Printed on 12 May 2008


Glossary of Terms for Flexible Working and Flexitime

Flexi Time Manager offers an online flexi time database for recording and storing the hours you work in a flexi time sheet

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The following expressions and words are often used in connection with flexitime schemes, and when setting up and operating flexi working systems.

annual hours
attendance monitoring
compressed working hours
core time
flexi time or flexitime
flextime
flexi time sheet
flexi balance
flexi credit
flexi debit
flexible working law
hot-desking
job sharing
limits of working day
location independent working
management - flexi time
online timesheet
part-time working
remote access
self-rostering
shift swapping
shift working
staggered hours
telecommuting
teleworking
time off in lieu
time sheet
term-time working
unique working patterns
virtual
virtual team
virtual office
v-time working
work-life balance
new-database

annual hours

A system whereby the hours which an employee is contracted to work are calculated over a whole year. Usually the annual hours are split into two parts. The larger part consists of set shifts with the remaining shifts unallocated. Usually the employee is paid for unallocated shifts and owes time to the employer. The employer keeps these hours in reserve and can call on the employee to work at short notice as demand dictates.  Top

attendance monitoring

A method of tracking hours worked by a member of an organisation, to establish, for example their gross pay, or their entitlement to flexi time hours and flexible working benefits. Top

compressed working hours

Allows employees to work their total number of agreed hours over fewer working days. Often a five-day working week is compressed into four days (or nine days a fortnight instead of ten). Top

core time

This is the busiest time of the working day, usually 10:00 to 15:30. During core time employees are often required to be at the workplace.

flexi time
or
flexitime

Allows employees to choose, within agreed limits, when to begin and end work. Flexi time (or flexitime) enables individuals to attend to domestic or other responsibilities. In the USA, referred to as flex time. Employees may be required to work during some essential periods (known as core times) and must work an agreed number of hours a week or 'accounting period' -which is typically four weeks. Hours worked in excess of this agreed level are calculated as flexitime debit or credit on their flexitime balance. Outside core times are flexible bands when employees may choose whether to be at work or not. This enables employees to vary their start, finish and lunch times and usually, within agreed limits, employees can carry over to the next accounting period any excess or deficit in the number of hours they are required to work. Top

flextime

In the USA this means the same as flexi time. Flex time or flex time working is operated in much the same way as defined in this glossary. Top

flexi time sheet

A record of time spent by an individual or group on a work related activity, where the individual or group enjoys flexi time working. The flexi time sheet calculates total time worked and in addition calculates flexi credits and flexi debits.  Click here to see informationn about an online flexi time sheet which is available for use on this site Top

flexi balance

The accrued amount of flexitime, either positive (flexi credit) or negative (flexi debit), calculated on a rolling basis from one accounting period to the next. In each accounting period, the flexitime accrued equals the difference between the actual hours worked and the contracted basic hours required. This period total is added to the balance brought forward from the previous flexi period, and is itself carried forward. A flexitime calculation sheet can be very useful for this purpose.

flexi credit

The time that an employee works in excess of their weekly contracted hours.

flexi debit

If an employee works fewer than their weekly contracted hours, the difference between the hours worked minus the contracted hours is a flexi debit.

flexible working law

Employment laws came into force on 6 April 2003 in the UK to provide parents with more choice and support to help balance their work and childcare responsibilities in ways that benefit everyone: employees, their children and employers.  Top

hot-desking

Use of office space that involves, to a greater or lesser extent, eliminating personal ownership of desks. It is a method of sharing desks, with workers who are usually working elsewhere, booking space to work. For part time and flexi workers, this is often a normal working method that brings economic benefit to the employer.  Top

job sharing

Involves two people carrying out work which would normally be done by one person. The work is not split but shared. There is no set model for managing time, which may involve working a set number of hours each day, each week or alternate weeks. Flexi time working is particularly suited for some jobshare arrangements.  Top

location independent working

Another term for teleworking. The work style is flexible in terms of location, and can be done from a variety of places.  Top

limits of working day

The time within which an employee may normally work and record those hours on their flexi time sheet.

management - flexi time management

For a group of employees to enjoy the benefits of flexible working, a flexi time policy, rules and a management system are required. These can be be of varying complexity - the simplest systems hardly require documentation. All will require some method for staff to track their working time with some sort of flexi time sheet.Top

online timesheet

An internet-based means for flexi workers to record their working time easily without the use of specialised computer programmes or hardware (such as a time-stamp clocking system). Office-based workers and teleworkers can access the flexi time sheet easily and quickly over a standard internet connection, or even via a mobile phone or PDA.  Top

part-time working

There is no set pattern to part-time working. It may involve a later start and earlier finish time than a full-time position, working mornings or afternoons only, fewer working days in the week or any other arrangement of working time whereby the employee is contracted to work less than normal basic full-time hours. Where it involves flexible working, use of a time sheet for attendance monitoring is normally required.  Top

remote access

Workers are able to access their organisation's computer network using ICT from any, or from a designated location. This normally requires a high-speed internet link both at the employer's office and for the worker, which also facilitates the use of an online flexi time tracking system and use of a time sheetTop

self-rostering

Allows employees to nominate the shifts which they would like to work leaving employers to compile shift patterns which match the individual preferences of staff (to agreed staffing levels).  Top

shift swapping

Enables employees to negotiate their working times by re-arranging shifts amongst themselves with the proviso that the required shifts must be covered.  Top

shift working

A work pattern in which one employee replaces another on the same job within a 24 hour period. Shift workers normally work in crews, which operate as separate shift teams. Shift systems typically operate over morning, afternoon and night shift periods and may provide continuous cover over 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Flexible working systems and flexi time benefits can be readily applied to shift working.   Top

staggered hours

Employees in the same workplace have different start, finish and break times. This can be an effective means of covering longer opening hours.  Top

telecommuting

The idea of replacing the commute journey with electronic remote access to the workplace.

teleworking

Involves working at home, using a telephone and computer to keep in touch with work. It may also include ‘site to site’ electronic working and mobile working. Online timesheet calculation of working time can be very useful for teleworkers to calculate their flexitime balance.   Top

time off in lieu

Allows employees to take time off to compensate for extra hours worked.  Top

time sheet

A record of time spent by an individual or group on a work related activity. Active time sheet calculation can work out total hours worked, flexitime balance, and account for sick days, holidays and other special working arrangements. See also flexi time sheet and online timesheetTop

term-time working

Enables an employee to remain on a permanent contract but also to be able to take paid or unpaid leave during school holidays.

unique working patterns

Individually tailored workng time patterns which may involve a combination of options. See also flexitimeTop

virtual

A word used to describe a scenario where electronic means are used to simulate a traditional (physical) way of doing things, as in virtual team or virtual office.        Top

virtual team

Where members of a team may be based in a variety of locations, in one or several organisations, rarely meeting but working collaboratively using electronic networks. See also teleworking.      Top

virtual office

Takes the virtual team a stage further, so that the office does not exist in any particular location, but rather exists in the network.  Top

v-time working

This is a voluntary arrangement whereby an employee reduces the number of hours worked for an agreed period with a guarantee that full-time employment will be available again at the end of this period.  Top

work-life balance

This is about adjusting working patterns to help combine work with other aspects of life such as caring responsibilities or studies. Employers are developing a wide range of work-life balance options, covering flexible working arrangements and flexible benefit packages. Examples include flexi time or flextime, job-sharing, working from home, time off in lieu and breaks from work. Employers benefit from having a more motivated, productive and less stressed workforce. Employees benefit from being happier at home and at work.  Top