Content

Work Allocation Policy and Procedure

Policy overview

1 Purpose

Provide a framework for the University to ensure equitable distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation for academic and professional employees.

2 Scope

Applicable to all academic and professional employees

3 Policy Statement

The University is committed to providing for all employees a stimulating, supportive and safe work environment. The equitable distribution of work load among employees and ensuring work allocation are fair and reasonable are fundamental to this commitment.

(Approved by the Chancellor's Committee on behalf of Council, November 2005)

4 Procedures

The University and its employees recognise the importance of a balance between working life and family/social responsibilities. The University will not make work load demands of employees that are inconsistent with this principle.

An employee, or their nominated representative, can bring concerns about their work allocation to the Executive Director, Human Resources for consideration.

The application of this policy and procedures will be monitored by the Staff Consultative Committee.

4.1 Responsibilities of supervisors and managers

Supervisors and managers have a responsibility to effectively manage the work load and working hours of employees and will:

  • take all reasonable steps to ensure that employees do not work unreasonable or excessive hours;
  • consult with employees in planning and reviewing annual work allocations;
  • recognise the importance of a balance between working life and family/social responsibilities;
  • provide reasonable funds for employee development activities to ensure access by all employees and in recognition of the importance of ongoing employee development for individual and organisational growth; and
  • ensure that employees can take annual leave and long service leave in a timely manner so that employees have adequate breaks from work.

4.2 Responsibilities of employees

Whilst managers and supervisors have the right to direct employees in relation to their work and are primarily responsible for allocating work load, employees also have a role to play in establishing fair and reasonable work allocations. Employees play an important role in determining if work allocations are realistic and should communicate any work allocation concerns to their manager or supervisor as soon as possible.

4.3 Professional employee work allocation

Professional employees will be allocated a work allocation that is manageable within the ordinary hours of work (36 hours per week) and will not be required to work excessive overtime (refer to the Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013, Clause 41.4). No employee will be required to work extended or continuous periods of overtime as a pattern of work allocation.

USQ Work Allocation Guidelines for Professional Employees provide further details to assist managers and supervisors in allocating work load.

4.4 Academic employee work allocation

In line with many professions, there are no prescribed hours of work for academic staff. This flexibility is an important part of academic life and enables work patterns to match teaching and research requirements. However, it is acknowledged that the work expected and required of academic staff at the University must be fair and reasonable.

Academic work allocation encompasses activities in any or all of the following three areas: teaching and teaching related activities; research and scholarship; and service to the University, community and profession.

USQ Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees have been developed.

Each Faculty has a Work Allocation Model that recognises the nature of academic work and covers the factors listed in 4.3 the USQ Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees, and includes a mechanism for work allocation in accordance with the standards of reasonable work allocation in 4.2 of the USQ Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees.

Non- Faculty academic departments are also required to have a Work Allocation Model which recognises the nature of academic work and the factors listed in the Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees.

It is expected that the faculty or section head will review the Work Allocation Models periodically to ensure that the Model meets the needs of the Faculty/Department and employees in the Faculty/Department.

4.5 Supervisor and manager training

To ensure that managers and supervisors receive the appropriate information and training to assist them in their roles as supervisors, the University offers a number of training courses which incorporate work allocation and management topics.

4.6 Managing work allocation concerns

Supervisors and employees are responsible for establishing a work allocation for individuals and work teams that is fair and reasonable and identifies variances in work flow. It is acknowledged that some employees may find it difficult to discuss work allocation concerns with their supervisor, however open communication in relation to work allocation, duties and timeframes may make it easier to discuss concerns.

As indicated in Section 4.2, where an employee is concerned about their ability to manage their work allocation, they have a responsibility to raise any concerns or issues with their immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Discussing work allocation concerns and identifying the possible causes of the concerns may assist in resolving the areas of concern.

Employees may wish to discuss work allocation concerns with their supervisor either during the BUILD process or at any stage that they are experiencing work allocation concerns. The following approaches may provide assistance to employees in their BUILD discussions or in any other discussion in relation to work allocation.

  • Provide specific examples about the problems you are experiencing with your work load allocation. Advise your supervisor about your work duties, responsibilities and projects, and explain how these are having an impact on your individual or team work allocations. Discuss specific examples of where you feel that your work allocation has been excessive. Provide your supervisor with practical suggestions about how these concerns may be resolved.
  • Discuss priorities - Seek clarification on the tasks that you are expected to complete. Discuss with your supervisor what they consider are the high, medium or low priorities.
  • Be solution oriented - Discuss your concerns with your supervisor - sometimes supervisors are not aware of what the problems are. Suggest how the issues may be resolved.
  • Establish realistic timeframes - Seek clarification on timeframes to assist in completing allocated work tasks - if you feel they are unrealistic then advise your supervisor before you get behind.
  • Employee development activities - Talk with your supervisor about professional development opportunities that may assist you in completing work duties more efficiently and effectively.
  • Leave plans - Discuss with your supervisor when you plan to take periods of leave during quieter work periods.
  • Agree on an action plan - During discussions with your supervisor, agree on possible solutions and timeframes. Plan to meet again to discuss progress in managing your work allocation.
  • Review position descriptions - Discuss with your supervisor the possibility of reviewing your position description and job role - it may be that your job has grown significantly and it is no longer appropriate for one person to manage all aspects of the role.
  • Teamwork - If you work as a member of a team it may be possible to speak with your supervisor about having others in the team assist you during busy periods.

4.7 Work allocation disputes

An employee, employees should raise any concerns regarding work allocation/s with their supervisor as outlined in 4.6. Options and strategies to vary work allocation can be discussed and, where agreed, implemented and monitored. Supervisors should make a record of discussions on points on which agreement cannot be reached.

Where discussions with the supervisor fail to resolve work allocation concerns, the employee or employees and their nominated representative, may seek a review of the work allocation.

The employee, employees or their nominated representative, will raise the concerns regarding work allocation with the Category 4 Delegate or above. The Category 4 Delegate or above, having regard to the relevant guidelines and standards, will review the concerns in consultation with the employee/s, and their nominated representative, and their supervisor/s. Where a meeting is held with the relevant Delegate to discuss the concerns, the employee may be assisted by their nominated representative.

Where the work allocation concerns remain unresolved an employee or employees, or their nominated representative, can make a case in writing to a Work Allocation Review Panel, convened by the Executive Director (Human Resources), and an employee nominated by the employee representatives on the Staff Consultative Committee for a review of the work allocation.

The review will be conducted expeditiously, having access to all relevant information, and records, and have regard to the relevant guidelines and standards. The Panel will:

  • ensure that the first two steps in 4.7 have been followed;
  • consult with the employee or employees and their nominated representative, and relevant supervisors; and
  • provide a work allocation review report to the Category 4 Delegate or above on whether or not the work allocation/s of the employee/s are reasonable and equitable and whether or not the relevant principles and standards in these provisions and other guidelines have been followed.

The report will, where necessary, make recommendations to the Category 4 Delegate or above to ensure the relevant principles and standards are applied and that work allocation is reasonable and equitable. The Category 4 Delegate or above will liaise with the supervisor to ensure any recommendations are implemented.

5 Attachment 1 - Work allocation guidelines for professional employees

5.1 Introduction

These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with Clause 41 of the Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013 and Human Resources Policy Work Allocation.

5.2 Issues for consideration when allocating professional employee workloads

The role of a supervisor is to actively plan, monitor and adjust work allocation and working hours to ensure that the operational requirements of the organisational area are met whilst being mindful of employee work allocation and working hours. Managers and supervisors, when determining work allocations for professional employees, must consider the operational requirements of the work area in addition to a number of factors including but not limited to the ordinary hours of work, the span of hours, rest pauses, meal breaks, overtime, time off in lieu arrangements and leave arrangements. Managers and supervisors should have in place systems and procedures to manage employee work allocation whilst meeting their operational requirements of the work area. In developing systems and procedures managers and supervisors must:

  1. ensure that specific policies, procedures and guidelines on hours of work, starting and finishing times, rest pauses, meal breaks, flexible working arrangements, overtime, TOIL and RDO's are adhered to. Specific policies and procedures to be considered include:
    1. Hours of Work / Ordinary Hours (Human Resource's Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees).

      The ordinary hours of work for a full-time professional employee are 36 hours per week. Work in excess of these hours may be considered as overtime.
    2. Starting and Ceasing Times - Recording Work Attendance (Human Resource's Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees).

      All professional employees up to an including USQ Level 7 must record their hours of attendance in a formal timesheet of attendance held within their faculty/section. Timesheets must be reviewed and signed by supervisors and it is the responsibility of supervisors to ensure that timesheets are completed correctly and filed accordingly. Timesheets provide managers and supervisors with a mechanism for reviewing work allocation and work allocation for individuals and teams within a specific work area.
    3. Overtime (Human Resource's Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees).

      Managers and Supervisors may require professional employees to work a reasonable amount of overtime (e.g. the time an employee works in excess of 10 hours in a single work period or 40 hours in any one week). Employees should not be required to work excessive overtime and overtime should not be worked over extended or continuous periods.

      Managers and Supervisors must ensure that they authorise and advise of any requirement to work overtime prior to the commencement of any overtime and should discuss with employees how they will be reimbursed (e.g. the payment of overtime or time of in lieu of overtime) for the additional hours worked.
    4. Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) (Human Resource's Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees).

      Professional employees up to and including USQ Level 10, may take time off in lieu of overtime worked, at a mutually agreed time. Managers and Supervisors must ensure that no more than the equivalent of 36 hours of time in lieu of overtime is accrued within a six month period. In exceptional circumstances, an employee's time off in lieu may exceed 36 hours with the prior approval of the Executive Director, Human Resources. Managers must monitor excessive amounts of overtime by employees and manage this accordingly.
    5. Rest Pauses and Meal Breaks (Human Resource's Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees).

      General employees who work more than four hours in a day are allowed one break of 20 minutes in the first half of the day and a daily meal break of between 30 minutes and 60 minutes. The meal break is to be taken no earlier than three hours and no later than six hours from commencement of duty.
    6. Rostered Days Off (RDO)

      Rostered Day Off (RDO) Arrangements are local work arrangements that are organised by mutual agreement between individual employees and their respective supervisors. Arrangements differ across various University departments and faculties and may be influenced by various operational requirements. Where operational requirements permit, eligible professional employees, in consultation with their supervisor, may work a nine-day fortnight or a nineteen-day month arrangement.
  2. consider their employees' availability, including the management of scheduled (annual, long-service, parental leave) and unscheduled absences (personal, carer's and compassionate leave). Specific policies and procedures to be considered include:
    1. Annual Leave (Human Resource's Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).

      Full-time employees accrue 20 days annual leave per year. Managers and Supervisors must ensure that employees take regular breaks from work as annual leave, and should encourage employees to take at least one period of annual leave of 10 days during the year. The maximum annual leave balance is 40 days, and managers and supervisors must ensure that employees are not accumulating more than 40 days.
    2. Long Service Leave (Human Resources policy and procedure Leave of Absence)

      After 10 years of continuous service a full-time employee accrues 13 weeks leave. Managers and supervisors should ensure employees are provided with adequate opportunities to take periods of accrued long service leave to ensure the employee's entitlement does not exceed 18 weeks.
    3. Parental Leave - Maternity (Human Resource's Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).

      An employee with 12 months continuous service is entitled to take up to 52 weeks leave. This may include a maximum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave, 6 weeks paid primary care-giver's leave and an additional 6 weeks paid leave, plus any accrued recreation and long service leave. Further details are outlined in the HR Policy.
    4. Personal Leave (Human Resource's Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).

      Full-time employees accrue 10 days leave per year. For appointments of less than one year, the leave in proportion to the amount of personal leave of a full-time employee is available in advance.
    5. Carer's Leave (Human Resource's Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).

      Employees may take 3 days carer's leave, and any additional accrued personal leave, to provide care for either members of their immediate family or household.
    6. Leave Without Pay (Human Resource's Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).

      Leave without salary is a special provision which may be granted on infrequent occasions to meet an employee's particular need.
  3. Managers and supervisors are responsible for monitoring and approving all forms of leave to make certain that:
    1. the leave requested and taken is in accordance with the University's policies and purposes for which they were intended leave balances;
    2. excessive accrual balances are avoided;
    3. the taking of planned leave normally occurs outside peak working times; and
    4. tasks and priorities are appropriately allocated to other work colleagues during any unscheduled leave absences.
  4. Consider the employee's approved participation in University service, professional development or community engagement activities.

    Employees may be involved in approved University service activities including, but not limited to, participating on University committees; undertaking governance and/or community engagement activities; undertaking professional development programs; or acting as an employee representative in order to interview, consult or liaise with employees in relation to employment matters. Employees must receive approval from their manager and supervisor for their involvement in these activities (including the time commitments and level of involvement) prior to any participation.
  5. Ensure work allocations are taken into consideration in the development of strategic operational goals and objectives and in workforce planning.

    When managing employee work allocations within areas or teams, managers and supervisors should take into account the strategic and operational goals and objectives of the individual work area. Managers must also take into account the amount of work being completed by each individual and monitor and discuss how this work is being undertaken within the context of the faculty/section workforce plan.
  6. Ensure work allocation is discussed as a component of the performance review process.

    The BUILD performance management system aims to develop and support individuals to work effectively in supporting University objectives. BUILD provides an opportunity for supervisors and employees to annually review the allocation of work duties, discuss individual work allocations within the context of the employee's duties, training and development opportunities, the goals and objectives of the individual work area and establish mutually agreed timeframes for activities, goals and development plans to be undertaken during the year. Supervisors and employees should be completing the Learning and Development Review form (incorporating the Future Activities Plan) annually.

    The annual review process may provide employees and supervisors with the opportunity to develop strategies and implement practices to address any work allocation concerns that may be emerging.
  7. Other factors for consideration

    In planning, monitoring, managing and reviewing work allocations, managers and supervisors need to consider the cyclical nature of the work area and how resources are to be allocated during these periods (including the use of casual employees to assist during peak periods or fixed-term employees to undertake specific projects). Managers and supervisors also need to consider establishing realistic timeframes for the completion of specific work tasks and projects, and prioritise work duties and the order in which they are to be completed. Managers and supervisors also need to be aware of the continued use of overtime and have strategies in place it address this issue, including being mindful of the need for employees to access leave entitlements. Managers should also consider training and employee development opportunities whilst considering this in view of the team and individual work allocations.

Supervisors and managers need to be aware of work allocation pressures and must have in place strategies to address anticipated periods of high work allocation. There are a number of indicators that supervisors and managers may utilise to determine whether employees are working excessive hours. These include but are not limited to:

  • Individual meetings with employees
  • Departmental/Work area meetings
  • Employee absences
  • Morale
  • Employees taking work home
  • Employees working through lunch
  • Employee Engagement Survey results

6 Attachment 2 - work allocation guidelines for academic employees

6.1 Introduction

These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with Clause 41 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010-2013 and HR's Work Allocation Policy and Procedure.

6.2 Standards of reasonable work allocation for individual academic employees

To ensure that the work expected and required of academic staff is fair and reasonable, the work allocation for individual academic staff will not exceed the amount of activity that can reasonably be expected to be undertaken within a twelve month period based on an indicative amount of 37.5 hours per week over a 46 week period. An academic employee will not normally be required to work on weekends or public holidays without his or her agreement.

An academic employee will not normally be required to teach or undertake related activities in three full semesters in one calendar year.

It is recognised that the nature of academic work is cyclical and that an academic employee may be required to work additional unscheduled hours to meet unforeseen work allocation demands.

6.3 Factors to be included in faculty and non-academic department work allocation guidelines for academic employees

  • Work Allocation Guidelines and formulas will take into account a range of factors including, but not limited to:
  • Level of appointment and experience of staff members;
  • Work practices of the Faculty/Department;
  • Other duties or expectation of employees, including higher degree study, required training in software and administrative roles;
  • The opportunity for academic staff to engage in teaching, research and associated professional work;
  • Staff development needs;
  • Equal opportunity policies;
  • All forms of teaching and preparation and related matters including:
    • the number of students in a unit and course
    • the assessment load and methods of assessment including appropriate time allocations for all types of assessment
    • level of the unit
    • offering of a unit or course for the first time
    • mode of delivery including the use of new modes for the first time
    • course and unit coordination responsibilities
    • supervision of staff including casuals
    • development of new material and revision of other materials
    • postgraduate supervision
    • involvement in course reviews
    • administrative and committee responsibilities in the Department, Faculty or University
  • All forms of required research and professional activity; and
  • All forms of required administrative and service activity.

6.4 Faculty/Department work allocation model for academic employees

Each Faculty and non-Faculty academic department will develop a Work Allocation Model that recognises the nature of academic work within the Faculty/Department, and covers the factors listed in 6.3 above and includes a mechanism for work allocation in accordance with the standards of reasonable work allocation in 6.2 above.

The Work Allocation Model will be developed in consultation with the employees in the Faculty/Department. The consultation will include a meeting to which all academic employees are invited, but is not confined to this.

Copies of each of the Work Allocation Models will be provided to the Staff Consultative Committee on a regular basis. The Staff Consultative Committee may seek further information and clarification and can provide comments and advice to Faculties/Departments about the Model.

6.5 Individual work allocations for academic employees

Individual work allocations within the Faculties and non-Faculty academic Departments shall be transparent, equitable and consistent with the Work Allocation Model of the Faculty/Department.

To ensure that the work expected and required of academic staff is fair and reasonable, the work allocation across the three areas for individual academic staff will not exceed the standards of reasonable work allocation set out in 6.2 above.

Work allocation will be allocated by the Head of Department (or equivalent) on a yearly basis following consultation with each employee and in accordance with the Faculty/Department Work Allocation Model, and may be reviewed if necessary.

In allocating work to each employee in the Faculty/Department, the Head of Department (or equivalent) will take into account the teaching, research, professional and administrative requirements of the department and University; and ensure that work allocations are distributed equitably and consistently amongst staff and that employees do not have an unreasonable work allocation.

An employee may discuss and request variations to their work allocation prior to the work allocation of the Faculty/Department being finalised.

The work allocation for each Faculty/Department will be available in writing to all academic staff in the Faculty/Department.

Work allocations may be varied to allow employees to specialise their duties over a year or such longer period as may be agreed with the Faculty/Department. The Category 4 Delegate will consider such requests having regard to the Faculty/Department Work Allocation Model, the impact the request may have on work allocation distribution for other academic employees in the Faculty/Department and organisational priorities.

7 Delegated responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approve Faculty Work Allocation Models for academic employees.

8 Policy Information

Accountable Officer

Executive Director, Human Resources

Policy Type

Regulated Policy and Procedure

Approved Date

1/8/2010

Effective Date

1/8/2010

Review Date

Relevant Legislation

University of Southern Queensland Certified Agreement 2010 - 2013

Related Policies

Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure

Working Hours, Overtime, and Shiftwork: Professional Employees

Outside Employment Undertaken by USQ Employees Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

 

Related forms, publications and websites

 

Definitions

 

Keywords

Work allocation, workload, model

TRIM Record No

13/470PL

 

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Failure to adhere to this policy may be a breach of the USQ Code of Conduct.