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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3739

Mr Hodges asked the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters, upon notice:

(   1 ) Are there any statistics available on the extent to which flexitime is being used by employees of the Commonwealth Government.

(2)   How many full days are taken by Government employees under the flexitime system.

(3)   Is it a fact that in many departments flexitime and sign-on sheets are not being adequately supervised by senior officers.

Mr Street -The Public Service Board has provided the following information for answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1 ) Various forms of flexible working hours are in operation in the general area of Commonwealth employment, but statistics are not centrally held. The extent to which flexible working hours may be worked in each Commonwealth Department or Authority depends upon their operating requirements. Where flexible working hours schemes have been introduced staff members respond in different ways in varying their patterns of attendance, but observing the constraints of departmental operating efficiency.

(2)   The Public Service Board recently issued a Report on Departmental Evaluations of Flexible Working Hours. This report did not cover the totality of Commonwealth employment but only departments staffed under the Public Service Act. There is no information available on the number of full days taken under flexible hours schemes. The Report indicated, however, that data gathered by 4 departments showed that approximately 80 per cent of officers eligible to participate in flexible hours schemes took advantage of 'core time' off for at least one half day during a 3 month period. Core time is that period of the day when staff are usually required to be in attendance.

(3)   The Board is not aware of any lack of proper supervision of flexible hours arrangements so far as departments are concerned. The Report mentioned above noted that manual recording of attendance was viewed by most departments as operating satisfactorily. However, it was also noted that flexible working hours schemes require careful oversight by management. With this in mind the Board is continuing to oversee the operation of schemes in departments and will draw to the attention of departmental managements any deficiencies that may become apparent

The Board's Report on Departmental Evaluations of Flexible Working Hours is available in the Parliamentary Library.

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