Care charity introduces four-day week for more than 300 staff

Community Integrated Care has announced a four-day week for more than 300 staff, as flexible working options gather pace amng employers across the voluntary sector.

The care charity is to allow head office and support function staff to condense their normal working hours into four days, rather than five.

This will allow either Monday or Friday to be a non-working day. In addition, staff are being offered options to work under a hybrid arrangement, combing home working with office-based meetings and training.

The move has been taken as part of a trend in the charity sector to offer flexible arrangements to staff post-Covid pandemic and following a period of home working due to social distancing measures.

Community Integrated Care’s decision also follows feedback from its staff survey. More than eight out of ten (82%) of staff said they felt positive about a four-day working week and a similar proportion (81%) said they were keen to reduce the number of days they were office-based post pandemic.

Departments such as finance, HR and quality are to be included in the initial roll out of the new working arrangements with a further roll out later this year involving operational teams.

“This new approach aims to offer greater choice for our current employees, while also creating a more attractive offering for new recruits and delivering greater support to our frontline workforce, which operates over a 24-hour period,” said the charity.

“We have further enhanced our shift to more modern and innovative ways of working by establishing a flexible return to the office, with colleagues having the choice to work either in the office, virtually from home, or a mixture of the two.

“Employees will only need to attend their offices for meetings or training that need to be held in person. This hybrid working approach will transform our office spaces into hubs used largely for learning and collaboration.”

Community Integrated Care chief people officer Teresa Exelby added: “Our colleagues have shown us how well they have adapted to a remote and hybrid working approach over the past 18 months, so we’re thrilled that we’re able to build on these successes as we navigate our way through the post-pandemic workplace.

“Listening to our workforce is hugely important to us and it’s clear that employee expectation for a flexible approach has altered dramatically in recent months.

“This move has been built with our colleague’s voices at the heart of it, giving them the freedom to choose and build their own ways of working.”

“Our hope is that by ensuring that our colleagues can achieve a positive and healthy work-life balance, this will in turn boost the wellbeing and productivity of our workforce.

“Ultimately, our main goal is that this all leads to us to continue delivering the best lives possible for the people we support.”

In July Charity Times looked at charities already adopting flexible working arrangements after lockdown and as the health crisis eases. This includes Directory of Social Change, which has already moved to a four-day week.

This month National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) launched a taskforce to look at the role of flexible working in the charity sector.

The move has been welcomed by the union Community, which said it was a “vital step forward for the third sector”.

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