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    Summer Working Hours : Employee Benefits

    Published on June 4th, 2021 | by Sophie West

    As HR Consultants, we often get asked about employee benefits with no cost to the business to retain, engage and motivate staff. Yes, there are some very valuable ones. A simple thank you and public praise can go a long way and should never ever be underestimated. A high performing employee who feels they are being taken for granted, won’t be an employee for long.

    This blog offers some key considerations of operating a summer hours policy to your organisation.

    We have recently seen some household name corporations offering summer working hours to their employees. What does this mean? In essence, employees complete their contracted hours throughout their working week and can therefore finish work earlier on a Friday (for example) and make the most of the summer weather (assuming it’s not raining!!). For example, employees work an extra 1 hour Monday to Thursday to allow them to finish 4 hours earlier on a Friday. Or 30 minutes extra to finish 2 hours earlier on a Friday dependent on their contracted hours. However, don’t forget to ensure your teams are taking their statutory rest breaks.

    Your employees are also likely to of heard of this policy. Your staff may be making little hints at adopting the same approach to make their weekends longer. I’m sure initial thoughts are ‘no….we’ve enough to do without everyone packing off early on a Friday. We have no time for that.’

    BUT WAIT……. This type of policy could actually save your business time and improve your bottom line. How? Read on….

    If your organisation and its operations could allow for such a policy to be implemented, you are highly likely to see an improvement in employee engagement. Why does this matter? Because a highly engaged and motivated workforce equals a more productive one. Therefore, directly impacting the bottom line. Win Win. And this type of working will not cost you a penny but could generate your organisation pounds (plenty we hope).

    You’ll also, more than likely, see a reduction in absenteeism, meaning managers won’t have to spend as much time reallocating work load, conducting return to work interviews and can concentrate their efforts more on the day to day organisational operations. Additionally, colleagues of absent employees won’t have to pick up additional workload which could potentially cause them more stress and for them to ‘go off sick’ themselves.

    Staff retention will increase and therefore less time and money will need to be spent on re-recruiting!

    Further still, as an employer, you are demonstrating your legal obligation of duty of care to your employees by offering an enhanced work/ life balance, and thus supporting their wellbeing. Mitigating any potential employment tribunal or heath and safety claims.

    It’s not much of a headache and is worth it if it improves the bottom line. Remember, this is to support your employees in order support their health, wellbeing, and in turn, your profits and reputation as an employer. If you do decide to introduce such a policy, make sure it’s discretionary. Make it clear from the offset it’s discretionary and may be removed if it affects operations. Or people quite simply take advantage.

    We get it – this all looks great initially, but this is not something that works for all sectors. Your organisation has operational requirements, and you need your employees to be working to ensure that service and productivity is meeting client and customer demand. Let us help you before writing it off completely.

    So what do you need to do if you’d like to look at such a scheme? Talk to us for a no jargon chat about what works and doesn’t work for your organisation.  You’ll need a summer hours working policy, and a contract variation to reflect the temporary change in working pattern. That’s it. Get in touch by emailing us at or call our HR team direct on 01527 571617.

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