NHSScotland 'Once for Scotland' Workforce Policies: Homeworking Policy

Closed 26 Jul 2021

Opened 28 Jun 2021

Overview

The 'Once for Scotland' Workforce Policies Programme is designed to review and transform existing workforce policies (previously known as Partnership Information Network (PIN) Policies) in line with our vision:

"'Once for Scotland' workforce policies will promote NHSScotland as a modern, exemplar employer; showcasing our core values, and promoting consistent employment policy and practice that supports the implementation of the Staff Governance Standard and effective recruitment and retention."

This consultation focuses on the Homeworking Policy.

Why we are consulting

NHSScotland recognises that the working environment has altered in last 18 months as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The refresh of the Homeworking Policy within the extant Supporting the Work-Life Balance PIN has been prioritised ahead of the other policies in this suite.  It will sit alongside the other elements of the Supporting the Work-Life Balance PIN to be refreshed when the ‘Once for Scotland’ Workforce Policies Programme formally restarts in August 2021.

It is recognised that agile working, as an approach, is becoming more common place.  The draft policy for consultation is intended to support employees and managers in considering and agreeing options for flexible work locations.  This is not a COVID-19 specific policy.  The policy has been refreshed and modernised to reflect the changed working environment.  Changes proposed by the employer are covered by the Staff Governance Standard which require full engagement and involvement with affected staff. The NHS Board’s Organisational Change Policy will apply where the employer seeks a change in work locations. This will ensure the protection of terms and conditions and no detriment to the employee.

The policy is not intended to directly address any terms and conditions issues as they are under the remit of the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC).

The consultation follows the regional engagement events pre-policy (January 2020) and mid-policy development (March 2020). The approach, agreed by the Scottish Workforce and Staff Governance (SWAG) Committee, minimises the need for the traditional 2-3 month formal consultation process.

With this new model of engagement, and recognising that these policies have already been agreed in partnership, this consultation will look different from previous consultations.

What is included within the consultation?

The consultation focuses on the Homeworking Policy. This includes the following sections:

  • Aim
  • Scope (Who it applies to and What can be raised under the policy)
  • Definitions
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Procedure

The policy references supporting documents, each with a descriptor on what this entails.  

Please note: supporting documents are not part of the consultation. These will be drafted following the consultation when responses have been analysed and the policy is developed in a final draft.

Standard sections that apply to all policies, for example, Principles and Values, Employee Support, Roles and Responsibilities are available on the NHSScotland Workforce Policies website.

The questions set out in the consultation seek to understand if the refreshed policy reflects our vision for NHSScotland workforce policies to be user-friendly and supportive, and updated to reflect changed working practices.  The consultation also includes an equalities section to gather views on the potential impacts of this policy on protected characteristics equalities groups.

Read the consultation paper.

Interests

  • Health and Social Care