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Work Allocation Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the framework for the University to ensure equitable distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation for academic and professional Employees.

2 Scope

This procedure applies to all academic and professional Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This procedure details the framework for the equitable distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation for academic and professional Employees.

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 Director (Human Resources) for consideration.

The application of this 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.

4.2.1 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.

4.2.2 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 Procedure. Each Model will recognise the nature of academic work and cover the factors listed in 4.3 of 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.

4.3 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.

4.4 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.

4.5 Work allocation disputes

An Employee or Employees should raise any concerns regarding work allocation/s with their supervisor as outlined in 4.4. 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 4.5 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 Delegated responsibilities


Level of Delegation

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approve Division work allocation models for academic Employees.

6 References


7 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Work Allocation for Academic Employees Schedule

Work Allocation for Professional Employees Schedule

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date


Effective Date


Review Date


Relevant Legislation

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 - 2017

Related Policies

Working Hours and Arrangements Policy

Related Procedures

Leave of Absence Procedure

Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork for Professional Employees Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites


Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Delegate (noun)

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 procedure only

Nominated Representative

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.


For the purposes of this procedure, a Supervisor is defined as the line manager to whom the Employee directly reports in the approved organisational structure of the University as recorded in the University's Human Resource Management System (PeopleSoft).


Work allocation, workload, model

TRIM Record No


Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.
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