Council scraps rigid hours in bid to cut staff turnover

first_imgMerton council is implementing a government-sponsored work-life balancescheme to cut staff turnover. If successful it will be rolled out across thewhole of local government. The council hopes that the scheme, which will go live in September, willreduce staff turnover from its current 17 per cent to 12 per cent in two years.The aim of the scheme is to scrap rigid work hours in local government andallow staff to work more flexibly. While the opening hours of the council willrise to 12 hours a day, staff can work flexible shifts as long as they notch up35 hours a week. The scheme will also introduce compressed hours and homeworking. It follows a successful pilot scheme between February and May that scrappedcore hours for 100 employees in the council’s housing lettings and revenue andbenefits departments. The council received a £50,000 grant to complete the pilot and is beingmonitored by PricewaterhouseCoopers as a good practice case study that could berolled out to other councils. The council bid for the grant from the DfEE’s Work-Life Challenge Fundbecause it felt that staff morale was low, it was not seen as an employer ofchoice or a best practice organisation. Paul Holmes, HR director at the council, said, “Mapping workingpractices to the needs of customers and staff is a must. There is no reason whyin the future the council cannot be open 24-7, certainly for paying bills. “The scheme should make the council more attractive to work for andhelp us retain staff.” The sickness rate for the departments in the pilot was cut by nearly half,from 115 days to 60. Holmes said, “Line managers were concerned that they would not be ableto monitor staff under the extended hours. Instead it meant that they sharpenedup their management techniques and stopped monitoring.” www.merton.gov.ukBy Paul Nelson Council scraps rigid hours in bid to cut staff turnoverOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more