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What is the difference between Smart Working and Flexible Working?

Smart Working is a framework that enables colleagues to have more flexibility in when or where they work, where this is possible, by making appropriate arrangements through discussions with their manager. It is not about making formal or permanent changes to working arrangements. 

Unlike Smart Working, our Flexible Working Procedure covers a range of formal permanent alterations to your contract such as changes in the number of hours or days worked per week plus job sharing, term-time working arrangements and contractual changes to start and finish times.  

The University has supported flexible working for many years and will always give consideration to any colleagues wishing to make a formal change to their working arrangements.  Requests can be made using the University Flexible Working Procedure, which if agreed result in a change to terms and conditions of employment.

Under the Smart Working framework, arrangements are informal, you cannot agree permanent remote working or working overseas. Permanent remote working requires formal changes to terms and conditions. There are complex legal and financial implications for colleagues working overseas that require pre planning and approval and so must be agreed separately. 

You can combine formal flexible working agreements (for example job-sharing or reducing your hours) with flexibility under the Smart Working framework but it is important to remember that arrangements under the Smart Working framework are informal and do not change your contractual terms.