What is flexible work?
Flexible work, or flexitime, is when traditional working hours become variable. For example, when a worker is not required to work a standard 9am to 5pm day, but can choose hours before or after this time frame to complete a day’s work. Usually, at least 50% of the work time must be in core hours – for example, between 11am and 3pm – while the worker can make up the other hours as they choose.
Must a certain amount of hours be filled?
Generally, yes. Daily, weekly or monthly hours must be filled according to what your employer expects, and subject to the necessary work being done.
So one could work fewer days in a week, but more hours in a day?
Yes. Some people may opt to work Mondays to Thursdays for ten hours each day, and take Friday off.
Or start early or end late?
Yes. Some people may opt to start working at 5am and finish mid-afternoon, while others my wish to come in at noon and work late.
Why choose flexible work?
Employees can adjust their work schedules to accommodate family responsibilities, as well as other domestic arrangements (eg paying bills, shopping for the household etc). It also leads to less congested roads during peak commuting hours.
What are the advantages for employees?
A better work-life balance, less fatigue, less commuting hours.
What are the advantages for employers?
More motivated staff, less absenteeism, more efficiency, less paid overtime.
Are certain people exempt from flexible work?
Generally speaking, senior managers, those who serve the public during office hours, and specified shift workers are excluded.
Does South African have legislation on flexible hours?
No. Individual workplaces and employers may make their own arrangements with staff, but there is nothing in the Labour Relations Act at present that legislates flexible work.
Find out more about contracts and what your employer expects in the workplace.