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Flexible Working Policy

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide flexible working arrangements for SFA Foundation funded researchers and students who have taken leave but continue to face challenges related to the reason for taking leave after the expiration of the statutory leave period. As a result of such challenges, they are unable to fully return to their research careers. In recognition of the long-term nature of such challenges, SFA Foundation provides flexible work arrangements to enable such SFA Foundation funded researchers an opportunity to continue work on their research programmes.

2.0 Definition

A continuous choice on behalf of employers, employees or both, regarding the amount (chronometry) and the temporal distribution (chronology) of working hours.

3.0 Policy Statement

It is SFA Foundation policy that SFA Foundation funded researchers and students who experience enduring long-term challenges are given flexible working and career breaks options to enable them to continue their research careers.

3.1 Flexible Working

Individuals may wish to return to work from maternity, paternity or adoption leave on a part-time basis. Provided the employing organisation agrees, the SFA Foundation would normally have no objections to such an arrangement.  The grant holder can request to put back the actual grant end date.

Where additional research costs are requested, the grant will normally be supplemented for no more than a period equivalent to the length of time the grant holder was on leave, regardless of whether the individual is returning to work on a full-time or part-time basis.

In the case of individuals employed on SFA Foundation studentships, the SFA Foundation will not extend the individual’s appointment beyond the end date of the student’s salary.

3.2 Career Breaks and Eligibility

Where applicants have taken formal maternity, paternity or adoption leave as the primary carer (either the mother, father, partner or adopter), the SFA Foundation will allow an additional six months for each period of parental leave when assessing eligibility. Each case will be considered individually, and the employing institution may need to confirm that the applicant qualifies for this provision.  See the SFA Foundation Maternity /Paternity/ Adoption/ Sick Leave and Pay policy for more details.

3.3 Interruption of Research

Grants may be put into abeyance if work on the research project is interrupted for reasons besides sick leave or maternity/other parental leave.  Each request will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

3.4 Reducing Working Hours

Provided the employing institution agrees, individuals funded on grants may reduce their working hours.  The grant end date will not be automatically extended if a (non-student) post holder revises their hours of work - the grant holder should request postponement of the grant end date, if required.

3.5 Studentship

SFA Foundation student may reduce their working hours, provided the supervisor/SFA Foundation agree.  The length of the studentship should be extended as appropriate, e.g. a three-year studentship at 50% time would extend to six years. A three (3) months’ notice in writing is required to be submitted to the SFA Foundation Programme Managers by the student for approval.

Related policies: Policy on Maternity, Paternity, Adoption and Sick Leave

For any queries on this policy, please contact [email protected]