Case study: Andrew Morley.
Andrew Morley, 41, is employed by NHS GGC as a Lead Sleep Physiologist. He is married to Lindsey and they have three children, Noah (8), Isaac (5) and Layla (2). Andrew works on a compressed hours’ basis; Monday – Thursday 08.00-18.00 with an additional night where he stays late to assist with patients’ sleep investigations. Lindsey, a GP, works three days per week, Wednesday-Friday.
On the two days that Andrew and Lindsey are both working, their parents look after the children one day each per week at their home. Both Andrew and Lindsey appreciate that they are very lucky to have such supportive parents to assist with their childcare.
Andrew’s reason for working compressed hours was both family and work driven. Andrew says: ‘Working a compressed week enables me to have a day in the week where I can spend time helping and enjoying the children. A week day with the children is very different to that of a weekend both in structure (e.g. school/playgroup) and behaviour of the children. A compressed working week provides me with an opportunity to be involved and experience what the childrens’ lives are like that I would otherwise miss out on. From a work perspective it is also very helpful; as our service is very much front loaded to the beginning of the week, having longer work days to cover these times is beneficial to the smooth running of the Sleep Service for the hospital. It also means that the department is staffed for a greater proportion of the day during the busiest times for the department.’
Andrew found that highlighting these points when submitting a flexible working proposal to his manager, helped his case. He says: ‘At the time of the proposal, the service was (and still is) a growing service and we both saw the potential benefits to changing my hours. Happily my manager agreed to the change of hours and as a result a formal agreement was created.’
Andrew feels that his working arrangement provides him with a good work life balance as it provides him with the ability to attend many of the children’s activities that he would otherwise miss out on, such as school assemblies. This, he believes, ultimately broadens his relationship with his children.
The NHS has good terms and conditions, notes Andrew, and as a result, he feels that he has a really good work life balance.