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Legalities and Practicalities of Flexible Work

The IRS Handbook of Flexible Working Law and Practice

Once they've started investigating new ways of working, there are always 4 kinds of things people would like to know:

  • is it worth it?
  • is it safe?
  • is it legal? - and
  • just how do you do it? 

In an area not lacking in guru-babble, it is always refreshing to come across new works that accentuate the practical. The IRS Handbook of Flexible Working Law and Practice certainly does that.

Edited and mostly written by Louis Wustemann, formerly the editor of Flexible Working magazine, the handbook's 260 pages cover:

  • annualised hours
  • compressed hours
  • home teleworking
  • hotdesking
  • jobsharing
  • mobile teleworking
  • staggered hours
  • team offices
  • term-time working
  • leave options.

It is designed, it says, "to help organisations plan and implement programmes that change the locations and/or hours their employees work". Sections cover the benefits - with many of the benefits quantified, teleworking, flexible offices, flexible working time, intranets, and project management. Throughout these there is consideration of the legal aspects, health and safety, workplace policy issues, plus facts, figures, case study references and detailed examples of guidance used in implemented schemes. This is all supplemented by a section of 11 detailed case studies of organisations that have implemented one of more of the forms of flexible working.

All in all, this is a treasure trove of useful information for everyone tasked with implementing or researching flexible work. Particularly welcome is the coverage of legal cases - and a separate index of legal cases is very helpful.

Is our praise of this book all too fulsome? In the managerial, office design and HR issues the book is excellent. With regards to technology, it deals with usage issues - ergonomics, security, insurance, etc - but otherwise lacks the depth of detail to be found in the other parts. On legal issues, it would be hard to find a book which summarises the issues more clearly.

This is a quality book, showing a unique depth of research, and strongly recommended reading.

Further Information

The IRS Handbook of Flexible Working Law and Practice, edited by Louis Wustemann, is an IRS/LexisNexis publication.
ISBN 0 40694 701 5

It is available from bookshops, or you can find further details at

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