Flexible Service is the policy name for a number of temporary working arrangements. These were introduced in April 2019 and acknowledge that soldiers and officers want to have more control over how they run their lives by better balancing work and home life, as raised in Continuous Attitude Surveys.
Flexible Service has two basic strands – Part-Time Working, Restricted Separation, or a combination of both.
The default service for Regular Army personnel continues to be a full commitment engagement/commission, involving full-time unlimited service and liability for duty (so-called 24/365 liability). Individuals cannot be forced to change their Commitment Type or to accept Flexible Service. Similarly, while the Army will consider requests for Flexible Service it is not a right.
Part-Time Working (PTW) arrangements reduce the 100% liability for both normal duty (generally weekdays) and a proportion of additional duty at other times (weekend/stand-down). This change in commitment results in a proportional reduction in pay, pension and leave.
Personnel can apply for two different levels of PTW: a reduction of 20% or 40%. These reductions will apply to both duty and weekend/stand-down duty liability. The impact of these reductions is illustrated in these simplified examples:
· 20% Reduction. A reduction of one whole day per working 5-day week plus the loss of any duty liability for one weekend in five.
· 40% Reduction. A reduction of two whole days per working 5-day week plus the loss of any duty liability in two weekends in five.
Restricted Separation (RS). Separation is a fact of Army life. However, for temporary periods a soldier may wish to limit their time away from the permanent duty station, at which they usually work and live.
Under RS personnel cannot be separated on duty for more than 35 days a year. This enables normal duties, such as courses, exercises and meetings, but will give protection from significant long-term deployment. This maximum will be reduced proportionately for periods of less than a year, or where the SP combines RS with a period of PTW.