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Working from Another Location Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To ensure all Employees are aware of the requirements and conditions associated with working from a location other than a University campus.

2 Scope

This Procedure applies to all Employees of the University who elect, or may be required, to work from a location other than a University campus on either an ad hoc or regular basis. Employees are required to advise their Supervisor of their on-campus and off-campus work program and activities.

This Procedure does not apply to:

  • casual Employees
  • Employees directed to travel on University Business
  • Employees undertaking fieldwork as prescribed by the work health and safety Procedures and manuals.

3 Procedure Overview

In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) and the University Work Health and Safety Policy, the University will ensure that:

  • Authorised Workplaces and systems of work are safe, consistent with legislation and covered by University Policies and Procedures
  • Employees working from another location are provided with information, training and supervision to enable them to perform their work safely
  • all reported incidents are investigated, hazards are described and practical control measures are implemented at Authorised Workplaces.

4 Procedures

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) requires the University to protect the health and safety of people at work. This includes Employees working at a location other than a University campus.

4.1 Approval to work from another location

Work from another location may only be entered into by mutual agreement between the University and the Employee, subject to appropriate approvals as follows:

  • Ad hoc arrangement to work at another location, within Australia - prior approval by the relevant Supervisor;
  • Regular arrangement to work at another location within Australia - recommendation of Supervisor, through formal annual performance management review and approval by the Category 4 Delegate or above;
  • International working arrangement - Category 3 Delegate or above as appropriate.

Approval to work from another location may be reviewed on an ad hoc basis. Where the working arrangement is not mutually beneficial to the University and the Employee, approval to work from another location may be revoked.

4.1.1 Ad hoc arrangement at another location

Employees seeking to work from another location on an ad hoc arrangement should discuss the requirement with their Supervisor in the first instance.

The Supervisor will determine the appropriateness of the request, in accordance with the obligations outlined in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of this Procedure, giving due consideration to flexible working arrangements, and approval provided.

4.1.2 Regular arrangement to work at another location within Australia

The Supervisor and Category 4 Delegate or above, together with the Employee, will determine what equipment is necessary, including personal protective equipment, which equipment will be provided by the University and where and how the Authorised Workplace will be set up. Agreement on working conditions must be reached prior to approval to work from another location being granted.

Approval to work from another location may be granted if:

  • the Employee's duties are suitable for work from that location;
  • the work carried out from that location does not contravene Regulatory Compliance Instruments;
  • the approving Delegate has confirmed that the Employee has carried out a risk assessment, and is satisfied that appropriate control measures are in place to ensure the Authorised Workplace is safe prior to work being undertaken;
  • suitable equipment has been provided either by the University or the Employee;
  • hours of work, rest breaks and a suitable work area have been agreed to;
  • reporting and performance management processes have been arranged; and
  • the Employee has sufficient information, experience and training to undertake work safely and with a minimum of assistance and direction.

Procedures for undertaking a risk assessment can be found in the Risk Management Policy and Procedure and in the Work Health and Safety Policy.

Employees who do not have prior approval to work from another location on a regular basis must fulfil their obligations under the Leave of Absence Procedure and the Principles of Academic Availability and Contactability Procedure.

4.1.3 International working arrangement

Approval to undertake an international working arrangement must have prior approval of the Category 3 Delegate or above as appropriate. Employees seeking to work internationally must discuss the request with their Supervisor. Approval to enter into an international working arrangement may be granted if:

  • the University has a genuine requirement for the work to be undertaken, and the Employee is agreeable to work, from an international location;
  • the Employee's duties are suitable for work from an international location;
  • working arrangements have been agreed to;
  • reporting and performance management processes have been arranged;
  • the Employee has sufficient information, experience and training to undertake work safely and with a minimum of assistance and direction; and
  • an acceptable risk assessment of the region has been specified by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and checked by the University.

Guidelines detailing international working arrangements are available from HR Client Services.

4.2 Confidentiality

Employees must respect the privacy of others and ensure that Personal Information is accessed and used only for University purposes and not disclosed to third parties unless required or authorised by law. Individuals who have access to such information have a duty to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and security of such information, irrespective of the storage medium.

4.3 University obligations of Employees working from another location

All Employees, including those authorised to work from another location on either an ad hoc or regular arrangement have an obligation to comply with the University's workplace health and safety Policies, Procedures and instructions and relevant Regulatory Compliance Instruments to ensure a safe workplace. This means that Employees are required to:

  • comply with workplace health and safety instructions;
  • take corrective action to eliminate hazards within their Authorised Workplace, or report those hazards which cannot be immediately corrected;
  • seek appropriate first aid or treatment for injuries and illnesses and report on the appropriate form, including completion of absence requests for sick and personal leave as required under the University's Leave of Absence Procedure;
  • use any personal protective equipment provided by the University;
  • not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse any health and safety equipment;
  • not wilfully place at risk the health and safety of anyone at the Authorised Workplace; and
  • not wilfully injure themselves.

Approval for work in another location will normally cover arrangements whereby, for agreed times, the Employees will be contactable and/or available, to ensure that the needs of the University community, are effectively met.

All Employees are required to advise their Supervisor of their on-campus and off-campus work program and activities.

4.4 University obligations of Supervisors

Supervisors have an obligation to ensure the workplace health and safety of all Employees and others under their control by preventing or minimising their exposure to risk.

To meet this obligation, managers and Supervisors of authorised Employees working from another location are expected to:

  • be satisfied that the Employee has taken satisfactory steps to ensure that the other location meets the requirements of the relevant Regulatory Compliance Instruments and this Procedure;
  • be the first point of contact for Employees with workplace health and safety concerns;
  • be familiar with University and legal requirements, regarding working from another location and ensure Employees are operating within these requirements;
  • include health and safety information in all Employee inductions;
  • ensure that all required information and instruction has been provided and that all necessary training has been undertaken;
  • where practicable, ensure risk assessments, using the appropriate checklists, are undertaken within the Authorised Workplace;
  • ensure equipment provided by the employer is adequately maintained, and defects reported;
  • ensure that all work related hazards and incidents are reported;
  • investigate the circumstances surrounding all incidents and take corrective action; and
  • seek assistance in the resolution of health and safety issues from USQSafe.

4.5 University obligations of approving Delegates

For regular domestic or international working arrangements at another location, Category 4 Delegates or above must ensure that the functional areas of the University under their responsibility comply with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld), all applicable standards and University Policies.

The Category 4 Delegates or above are obligated to:

  • ensure that a copy of the University's Health and Safety Policy is provided to the Employee;
  • ensure that a copy of the Working From Another Location Procedure is provided to the Employee;
  • ensure that suitable equipment has been provided either by the University or the Employee;
  • provide the Employee with any information, instructions and training required to use the equipment in the correct and safe manner;
  • provide the Employee with the appropriate information and checklists to enable the Employee to carry out a risk assessment of the Authorised Workplace;
  • where practicable, ensure risk assessments are undertaken within the Employee's Authorised Workplace;
  • establish consultative mechanisms and avenues for assistance between the Employee and the University;
  • ensure that all work related incidents are reported, investigated and appropriate steps are taken to prevent a recurrence;
  • ensure that all health and safety issues are resolved; and
  • monitor the work output of the Employee.

4.6 Process for Employees working from another location on a regular or international arrangement

Following approval of, and prior to commencing the working from another location arrangement, an Employee must undertake the following:

  • provide written assurance of having read and understood the requirements of the Working From Another Location Procedure;
  • comply with the relevant Regulatory Compliance Instruments (e.g. local government regulations regarding working from home and relevant insurance requirements);
  • where practicable, carry out a risk assessment of the area to be used for working using the Working from Another Location Checklist;
  • arrange their own Public Liability insurance;
  • ensure that any personal equipment used meets the relevant minimum workplace health and safety requirements (e.g. the workstation used should be ergonomically correct, electrical equipment inspected as required);
  • provide detailed information to the Supervisor of the Authorised Workplace;
  • ensure that no member of the public is put at risk in the Authorised Workplace;
  • provide a hard copy of the completed Working from Another Location Checklist to the Supervisor and USQSafe; and
  • undertake any and all necessary training requirements regarding working from another location.

4.7 Incident reporting

University policy and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) requires that any individual who suffers an injury or illness at a University Authorised Workplace must inform their Supervisor and USQSafe as soon as possible.

If an Employee working from another location sustains an injury or illness while at work, or travelling for University purposes, the Employee must report the incident to USQSafe using the Incident Record/Report Form available from the Human Resources website, the Faculty/Department administration sections, USQSafe or via the University Hazard and Incident Reporting and Tracking System (UniHIRTS) on the University's website.

Further information in relation to Incident Reporting is available from the Incident and Hazard Reporting and Investigation Procedure and the Work Health and Safety Policy.

4.8 Workers' compensation

Workers' compensation provisions apply to all Employees who are injured during the course of their employment. This will apply if the Employee is undertaking University Business whilst working from another location, at another site or travelling for work purposes, subject to satisfying the requirements of the Regulatory Compliance Instruments.

The usual sources of evidence, such as reporting processes and medical evidence will be sought to determine whether an Employee based at a location other than a University campus had a legislatively compensable injury in accordance with the Regulatory Compliance Instrument.

Further information in relation to Workers' Compensation is available from the Rehabilitation and Workers' Compensation Procedure in the Work Health and Safety Policy.

4.9 Rehabilitation

Guidelines regarding workplace rehabilitation apply if the Employee was injured while working from another location, or at any other Authorised Workplace.

Further information in relation to workers' compensation is available from the Rehabilitation and Workers' Compensation Procedure and the work health and safety Procedures.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

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

7 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Finance and People Capability)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

19/8/2016

Effective Date

19/8/2016

Review Date

19/8/2019

Relevant Legislation

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Qld)

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Privacy Policy

Records Management Governance Policy and Procedure

Risk Management Policy and Procedure

Travel Policy

Work Health and Safety Policy

Working Hours and Arrangements Policy

Related Procedures

Employee Grievance Procedure

First Aid Procedure

Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure

Incident and Hazard Reporting and Investigation Procedure

Leave of Absence Procedure

Placement, Off Campus and Fieldwork Procedure (new for development)

Principles of Academic Employee Contactability and Availability Procedure

Rehabilitation and Workers' Compensation Procedure

Travel Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Resources Website

Incident Investigation Form

University Hazard and Incident Reporting and Tracking System (UniHIRTS)

Working from Another Location Checklist

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Employee

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....moreA 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.

Personal Information

Is information or an opinion, including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion....moreIs information or an opinion, including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion.

Policy

A high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy....moreA high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Regulatory Compliance Instrument

An external compliance instrument provided by legislation, regulation, standards, statutes or rules, including subordinate instruments....moreAn external compliance instrument provided by legislation, regulation, standards, statutes or rules, including subordinate instruments.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Authorised Workplace

The place where the Employee is based to perform work with the agreement of the University.

Supervisor

Any Employee who has direct reports in the approved organisational structure of the University as recorded in the University's Human Resource Management System (PeopleSoft).

University Business

University Business means any approved activity related to employment, career development or Research Activities at the University or in connection with the official functions of the University.

Keywords

Working from home, WH&S, workplace health and safety

Record No

13/483PL

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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