Work Allocation Policy and Procedure
- 1 Purpose
- 2 Scope
- 3 Policy Statement
- 4 Procedures
- 5 Attachment 1 - Work allocation guidelines for professional Employees
- 6 Attachment 2 - Work allocation guidelines for academic Employees
- 7 Delegated responsibilities
- 8 References
- 9 Schedules
- 10 Policy Information
To provide a framework for the University to ensure equitable distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation for academic and professional Employees.
This policy and procedure is 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.
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 Director (Human Resources) for consideration.
The application of this policy and procedure will be monitored by the Staff Consultative Committee.
4.1 Responsibilities of supervisors
Supervisors 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 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 University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017, Clause 41.4). No Employee will be required to work extended or continuous periods of overtime as a pattern of work allocation.
The University's 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 and scholarship; research; and service to the University, community and profession.
The University's Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees have been developed.
Each Division that employs academic Employees will have a Work Allocation Model that is consistent with the requirements of Clause 41 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 and this Policy and Procedure. Each Model will recognise the nature of academic work and cover the factors listed in 4.3 the University's Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees, and include a mechanism for work allocation in accordance with the standards of reasonable work allocation in 4.2 of the University's Work Allocation Guidelines for Academic Employees. The mechanism in each Divisional Model will set work allocations which reflect a fair average assessment of the time to perform the work to a professional standard.
Each Divisional Work Allocation Model will be reviewed periodically to ensure that the Model meets the needs of the relevant Division and academic Employees within the Division. This review will take into consideration the need to ensure consistency across the respective Division and will contribute to a determination of an appropriate allocation of resources.
4.5 Supervisor training
To ensure that 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 Enrich process or at any stage that they are experiencing work allocation concerns. The following approaches may provide assistance to Employees in their Enrich 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 or 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 there are concerns regarding work allocations in a work area, a Union covered by the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 may raise these concerns with the Director (Human Resources) for discussion and resolution. Where the concerns raised are unable to be resolved, the Director (Human Resources) will forward the concerns to the Work Allocation Review Panel.
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 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
These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with Clause 41 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 and the Work Allocation Policy and Procedure.
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:
- 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:
- Hours of Work / Ordinary Hours (Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees Policy and Procedure).
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. Managers and supervisors must ensure that Employees are not working in excess of the ordinary hours of work except in the circumstances of reasonable overtime.
- Starting and Ceasing Times - Recording Work Attendance (Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees Policy and Procedure).
All professional Employees up to and 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.
- Overtime (Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees Policy and Procedure).
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.
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.
- Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) (Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees Policy and Procedure).
Professional Employees up to and including USQ Level 10, may decide to take time off in lieu of overtime worked, at a mutually agreed time. 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 Director (Human Resources). Supervisors must monitor excessive amounts of overtime by Employees and manage this accordingly.
- Rest Pauses and Meal Breaks (Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork: Professional Employees Policy and Procedure).
Professional 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- Annual Leave (Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).
Full-time Employees accrue 20 days annual leave per year. 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 Supervisors must ensure that Employees are not accumulating more than 40 days.
- Long Service Leave (Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure)
After 10 years of continuous service a full-time Employee accrues 13 weeks leave. 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.
- Parental Leave - Maternity (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 Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure.
- Personal Leave (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.
- Carer's Leave (Leave of Absence Policy and Procedure).
Employees may take three days carer's leave, and any additional accrued personal leave, to provide care for either members of their immediate family or household.
- Leave Without Pay (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.
- Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and approving all forms of leave to make certain that:
- the leave requested and taken is in accordance with the University's policies and purposes for which they were intended leave balances;
- excessive accrual balances are avoided;
- the taking of planned leave normally occurs outside peak working times; and
- tasks and priorities are appropriately allocated to other work colleagues during any unscheduled leave absences.
- 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.
Employees may be involved in Union activities and roles.
- 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, supervisors should take into account the strategic and operational goals and objectives of the individual work area. Supervisors 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.
- Ensure work allocation is discussed as a component of the performance review process.
The Enrich performance review system aims to develop and support individuals to work effectively in supporting University objectives. Enrich 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 participating in at least two reviews each year.
The 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.
- Other factors for consideration
In planning, monitoring, managing and reviewing work allocations, 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). 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. Supervisors also need to be aware of the continued use of overtime and have strategies in place to address this issue, including being mindful of the need for Employees to access leave entitlements. Supervisors should also consider training and Employee development opportunities whilst considering this in view of the team and individual work allocations.
Supervisors 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 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
- Employees taking work home
- Employees working through lunch
- Employee Engagement Survey results.
6 Attachment 2 - Work allocation guidelines for academic Employees
These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with Clause 41 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 and the 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 Employees is fair and reasonable, the annual work allocation for full-time academic Employees will not exceed 1702.5 hours (based on a notional 37.5 hours per week less four weeks of annual leave, public holidays and the three day end of year closedown). The allocation is made for a calendar year and will be reduced for any other leave which is taken or planned.
The work required of, and allocated to, academic Employees, which includes an allocation for intercampus travel, must also be reasonable, and supervisors and managers must take all reasonable steps to ensure the Employees are not normally required to work unreasonable or excessive hours for extended periods of time.
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 activities directly related to teaching in more than two 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. Where an academic Employee agrees to work additional unscheduled hours, their work allocation for the year will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly by the Head of the relevant organisational unit.
6.3 Factors to be included in divisional 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 relevant organisational unit;
- 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;
- travel between campuses;
- managing Student expectations in relation to communication and consultation;
- all forms of teaching and preparation and related matters including, but not limited to:
- preparation and maintenance of teaching materials for face to face, online and other modes of delivery
- delivery of lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory classes, workshops and clinical education and equivalent online delivery
- clinical placement management and Student supervision, field trip supervision and the supervision of Students in applied settings
- the number of Students in a unit and course
- supporting Students
- the assessment load and methods of assessment including appropriate time allocations for all types of assessment and moderation
- level of the course
- involvement in, or offering of, a course or program for the first time
- mode of delivery including the use of new modes for the first time
- course and program coordination responsibilities and other administration activities related to teaching
- supervision of staff including casuals
- development of new material and revision and updating of other materials
- postgraduate supervision and coursework theses examination
- involvement in quality assurance initiatives and course and program reviews
- scholarly activities to support teaching, contributions as a member of University and external teaching practice groups/committees, conducting scholarly projects relating to the development, implementation and evaluation of teaching initiatives
- professional development related to learning and teaching
- administrative and committee responsibilities in the school, faculty or University and other teaching leadership activities.
In setting times for teaching and teaching related activities, the models will include and distinguish between those activities where the time taken to undertake an activity is largely independent of the number of Students enrolled in a course, and those activities where the time required is directly related to the number of Students enrolled.
- all forms of required research and professional activity including, but not limited to:
- individual and team research
- industry collaborative research
- preparation of grant submissions and funding proposals
- attendance and presentations at conferences, performances or seminars
- preparation and writing of publications
- practice and critique of creative works and design, including public exhibition
- applications for awards and fellowships
- editorships of research journals and/or peer reviewing of research journal articles or national/state competitive grant schemes
- supervision of research staff and research projects, research centre/program administration, supervision of expenditure from research grants, leadership of research teams
- examination of research theses
- mentoring of early career colleagues
- research commercialisation and knowledge transfer activities.
- all forms of required service activity including but not limited to:
- participation in administrative duties and responsibilities and policy development
- supervision and mentoring of staff
- attendance at school, faculty and major University meetings
- involvement at Open Day and other promotional activities
- membership of committees and/or administrative roles at school, faculty or USQ Level
- membership of committee for local professional bodies or community organisations, contribution to professional body or community organisations
- Union activities and roles
- approved Employee representative roles
- representing the University during official visits and exchanges
- supporting the Student experience such as administration of year level coordination, Student advising, coordinating Student work based placements, coordinating Student mentoring programs
- involvement with Student recruitment and graduation activities.
6.4 Division work allocation models for academic Employees
Each division which employs academic staff will develop a work allocation model that recognises the nature of academic work within the relevant organisational unit, 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 or reviewed in consultation with academic Employees in the Division. The consultation will include a meeting to which all academic Employees are invited, but is not confined to this. An Employee may be assisted by a Nominated Representative during this consultation process.
Copies of each of the work allocation models will be provided to the Staff Consultative Committee on a regular basis for review with the requirements of this Policy and Clause 41 of the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017. The Staff Consultative Committee may seek further information and clarification and can provide comments and advice to Divisional Head about the Model.
6.5 Individual work allocations for academic Employees
Individual work allocations within the respective Division will be determined by the Head of the relevant organisational unit. Individual work allocations will be transparent, equitable and consistent with the Work Allocation Model of the respective Division.
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 and will be consistent with a fair average assessment of the time required to perform the work to a professional standard.
Work allocation will be allocated by the Head of the relevant organisational unit on a yearly basis following consultation with each Employee and in accordance with the Divisional Work Allocation Model, and may be reviewed if necessary.
In allocating work to each Employee in the organisational unit, the Head 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.
The process of determining individual work allocation will commence with a discussion at the performance review meeting for each Employee. The Head of the relevant organisational unit and the Employee will discuss the Employee's performance and work and career objectives and agree on allocations for teaching and scholarship, research and service. The maximum allocation for teaching and teaching related duties is 70%. The allocation for teaching will be determined after the allocations for research, scholarship, and service have been agreed.
Normally, by the end of October each year, the Heads will provide each academic Employee with an indicative high level work allocation for the following year. The work allocation will indicate the proposed allocation for teaching and scholarship, research and service. The Employee will be provided with the opportunity to respond to the proposed work allocation to ensure that the allocation is fair and reasonable.
Normally, by the middle of February, the Head is to provide a complete initial annual work allocation for all Employees. The Head will ensure that discussions occur with individual Employees and that they are provided with an opportunity to raise issues for consideration. An Employee may discuss and request variations to their work allocation prior to the work allocation being finalised.
Once confirmed, individual work allocations will normally only be amended where there are significant changes to Student numbers or where exceptional or unforeseen circumstances arise.
The work allocation for each Division will be available in writing to all academic staff in the relevant organisational unit.
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 relevant Head. The Category 4 Delegate will consider such requests having regard to the Division work allocation model, the impact the request may have on work allocation distribution for other academic Employees in the relevant organisational unit and organisational priorities.
7 Delegated responsibilities
Level of Delegation
Category 4 Delegate or above
Approve Division work allocation models for academic Employees.
This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.
10 Policy Information
Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)
Regulated Policy and Procedure
Related forms, publications and websites
Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary
Delegate (noun) means the officer, Employee or committee of the University to whom, or to which, a delegation of authority has been made under this Policy....more
A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....more
A person who has been Admitted or Enrolled at the University, but has not yet graduated from their Academic Program....more
The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....more
Definitions that relate to this policy only
Means in relation to an Employee, a person selected by the employee to assist or represent the Employee. The person may be an officer or employee of the relevant Union, or any other person chosen by the Employee. In relation to the University, it means a person selected by the University to assist or represent the University. The person may be an Employee of the University, or an officer or employee of AHEIA, or any other person selected by the University. The Nominated Representative must not be a practising barrister or solicitor and must not present a conflict of interest.
Work allocation, workload, model
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