Working Hours and Arrangements Policy

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To provide a framework for the provision of fair and equitable working hours, work allocation and work arrangements and to ensure that Employees are aware of, and able to fulfil, their responsibilities in relation to their employment with the University in accordance with the USQ Enterprise Agreement and other Regulatory Compliance Instruments.

2 Scope

This Policy applies to all eligible Employees in applicable positions as outlined in the pursuant Procedures.

This Policy includes, but is not limited to:

  • working hours, including work allocation for Academic and professional Employees, Academic Employee availability and contactability, and working hours, overtime and shiftwork for professional Employees
  • working arrangements, such as flexible work options and working from other locations
  • other work requirements, such as Outside Employment undertaken by Employees, and the Regulatory Compliance Instruments relating to working with Children.

3 Policy Statement

The University is committed to providing the necessary framework and facilities to ensure that Employees are able to fulfil their responsibilities and that work allocation, working hours, requirements and arrangements are fair, equitable, flexible, and in accordance with relevant Regulatory Compliance Instruments.

4 Principles

The University is committed to providing a stimulating, supportive and safe work environment for all Employees.

The equitable distribution of work load among Employees and ensuring work allocation is 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, and the University will not make work load demands of Employees that are inconsistent with this principle.

For professional Employees, the University will seek to ensure that these Employees have a clear understanding of their employment conditions relating to working hours, overtime and shiftwork. For Academic Employees, the University will endeavour to provide facilities and services necessary for these Employees to fulfil their work responsibilities and requirements at their designated workplace.

The University is committed to providing work/life balance options to its Employees and will provide flexible working arrangements, including consideration of arrangements for working from another location, to support the needs of eligible Employees, wherever practicable and subject to approval.

The University also recognises that some Outside Employment undertaken by Employees may ultimately be of benefit to the University and its reputation, and supports Employees undertaking these arrangements in accordance with the relevant Procedures and approvals.

Some working arrangements at the University will require Employees to work with Children. In this instance, Employees and the University must comply with the Regulatory Compliance Instruments associated with working with Children.

4.1 Work allocation and working hours

4.1.1 Work allocation

The University will ensure the equitable distribution of fair and reasonable work allocation for Academic and professional Employees. 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 pursuant Procedure will be monitored by the Staff Consultative Committee.

Procedures for work allocation, managing concerns and disputes are contained within the Work Allocation Procedure and subordinate Schedules. For Academic Employees in particular, each division that employs Academic Employees will have a work allocation model that is consistent with the requirements of Clause 41 of the USQ Enterprise Agreement, the Work Allocation Procedure and this Policy.

4.1.2 Academic Employee contactability and availability

In line with many professions, there are no prescribed hours of work for Academic Employees. 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 Employees at the University must be fair and reasonable.

It is reasonable to expect that Academic Employees will be contactable and/or available to ensure that the needs of the University community, including the requirement for ready access to Academics by internal and external Students are effectively met, and must regularly advise their Supervisor of their on-campus and off-campus work program and activities.

The University can expect Academic Employees to be available for consultation and meetings concerned with teaching, research and organisation.

While travel and off-campus work are normal expectations for many Academic Employees, the University itself will remain the focal point of each Academic Employee's professional life.

The University also recognises that Academic Employees require periods away from their designated workplace for many reasons including research, online teaching, marking, attendance at conferences, and consultation with government, industry, commerce and community.

An Academic Employee must ensure that they are reasonably available for consultation with Students. Consultation may include, as appropriate, face to face meetings and the efficient and timely use of communication technology.

4.1.3 Professional Employee working hours, overtime and shiftwork

The ordinary hours of work for a full-time professional Employee are 36 hours each week, not exceeding seven consecutive days. Professional Employees will be allocated a work allocation that is manageable within these ordinary hours of work, and will not be required to work excessive overtime.

Employment conditions relating to working hours, overtime and shiftwork for professional Employees are outlined in the Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork for Professional Employees Procedure and cover:

  • ordinary hours of work
  • weekend work
  • starting and ceasing times
  • overtime
  • time off in lieu (TOIL)
  • rest pauses and meal breaks
  • allowances (Meal, On call, Call out)
  • shiftwork.

4.2 Working arrangements

4.2.1 Flexible work options

Flexible work options facilitate individual performance and organisational performance whilst allowing Employees to participate fully in the workplace. Employees may access flexible working arrangements to provide a work/life balance and assist with managing the conflicting demands between family, work and other responsibilities and commitments.

There are certain circumstances where an Employee has a legislative right to request flexible work arrangements. However, the University also supports Employees who request flexible working arrangements to meet their individual needs.

Any of these arrangements are subject to the operational needs of the workplace and the mutual agreement between the Employee, the Supervisor and Delegate, and may be refused on Reasonable Business Grounds.

4.2.2 Working from another location

The University recognises that working from another location other than a University campus may be an effective option in some circumstances for an Employee and for the work area. These arrangements may be on an ad hoc or regular basis at locations in Australia, or on an international basis.

The University will fulfil its obligation to protect the health and safety of people at work, including Employees approved to work from another location. In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld) and the Work Health and Safety Policy, the University will ensure that:

  • Authorised Workplace 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 incidents are investigated, hazards are reported and practical control measures are implemented at Authorised Workplaces.

Work from another location may only be entered into by mutual agreement between the University and the Employee, and must be approved by the relevant Supervisor or Delegate as appropriate.

Particular obligations of Delegates, Supervisors and Employees and arrangements for working at another location including workers' compensation and rehabilitation provisions, are outlined in the Working from Another Location Procedure.

4.3 Legislative and other work requirements

4.3.1 Outside Employment

The University may grant approval for Employees to undertake paid or unpaid Outside Employment whilst the Employee has a current employment contract with the University, in accordance with the provisions of the Outside Employment Undertaken by USQ Employees Procedure.

Outside Employment consists of the following categories:

  • University Related/Sponsored Outside Employment and Consultancies
  • Private Outside Employment and Consultancies
  • Private Unrelated Outside Employment
  • Exempt Outside Employment.

Participation in outside work is normally negotiated through performance management discussions, and in addition for Academic Employees, through workload allocation discussions, and must not be undertaken without approval of the Delegate.

Conditions and entitlements associated with outside work, and the process for managing the approval, or otherwise, of Outside Employment are outlined in the Outside Employment Undertaken by USQ Employees Procedure.

4.3.2 Working with Children

The University requires all Employees engaged in Child-related employment to comply with relevant Regulatory Compliance Instruments and obtain appropriate documentation and approval prior to commencing work with Children and young people.

Employees in identified positions and work areas are required to undertake the Working with Children Check and obtain a blue/exemption card. Should an Employee identified as requiring a blue card for their employment fail to obtain or continue to hold one, the University is obligated under the Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000 to cease their employment immediately. In the first instance however, where possible, a transfer to a suitable position not requiring a blue card may be negotiated where such a position is available and mutually agreeable.

Blue card application procedures are outlined in the Working with Children Procedure.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

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

7 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Work Allocation for Academic Employees Schedule

Work Allocation for Professional Employees Schedule

Accountable Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise Services)

Policy Type

Executive Policy

Approved Date

12/12/2018

Effective Date

3/4/2019

Review Date

3/4/2022

Relevant Legislation

Fair Work Act 2009

USQ Enterprise Agreement

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Worker's Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Act 2000

Working with Children (Risk Management and Screening) Regulation 2011

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Delegations Policy

Employee Complaints and Grievances Policy

Privacy Policy

Records and Information Management Policy

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related Procedures

Discrimination, Bullying and Harassment Complaints against Employees Procedure

Employee Grievance Procedure

Employee Health and Wellbeing Procedure

Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure

Outside Employment Undertaken by USQ Employees Procedure

Principles of Academic Employee Contactability and Availability Procedure

Work Allocation Procedure

Working from Another Location Procedure

Working Hours, Overtime and Shiftwork for Professional Employees Procedure

Working with Children Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Human Resources Website

Definitions

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....moreDelegate (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.

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.

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.

Student

A person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course....moreA person who: has been Admitted or Enrolled in an Academic Program at the University, but has not yet graduated from the program; or has been Enrolled in a Course at the University but has not yet completed the Course.

University

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

USQ Enterprise Agreement

University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021....moreUniversity of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018-2021.

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Academic

For the purposes of this Policy, Academic Employee is defined in accordance with Clause 4.2.3 of the USQ Enterprise Agreement.

Authorised Workplace

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

Child/Children

Means anyone under the age of 18.

Exempt Outside Employment

Includes the following paid or unpaid activities undertaken by an Employee: occasional broadcasts and performances, telecasts, public lectures, examination or doctoral supervision duties for other universities, writing or editing of newspaper or journal articles and monographs for publication, whether for sale or otherwise. These activities are not subject to the provisions of this Policy and Procedures.

Outside Employment

Participation in any level of work by an Employee, paid or unpaid, in addition to their employment at the University is regarded as Outside Employment. Outside Employment can include work undertaken for an outside entity or in a self-employed capacity.

Private Outside Employment and Consultancies

Includes paid or unpaid work undertaken by an Employee that is related to their Academic discipline or professional expertise including work certified by a professional body required to retain professional accreditation or registration, where the activity is agreed directly between the Employee and an outside entity or client.

Private Unrelated Outside Employment

Includes paid or unpaid activities that are undertaken by an Employee in a private capacity outside normal working hours which are not related to an Employee's substantive position at the University.

Reasonable Business Grounds

Reasonable Business Grounds for refusing a request for flexible work arrangements, may include, but are not limited to:

  • that the proposed work arrangements requested by the Employee would be too costly for the employer
  • that there is no capacity to change the working arrangement of other Employees, or recruit new Employees to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the Employee;
  • it would be impractical to change the working arrangements of other Employees, or recruit new Employees, to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the Employee;
  • that the proposed working arrangement requested by the Employee would be likely to result in a significant loss to the efficiency or productivity of the University;
  • that the proposed working arrangements requested by the Employee would be likely to have a significant negative impact on the service provided to Students and University clients.

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 Related/Sponsored Outside Employment and Consultancies

Includes paid or unpaid work undertaken by an Employee related to their Academic discipline or professional expertise that contributes to the strategic goals and objectives of the University, where the activity is agreed between the University and an outside entity formalised through contractual documentation. Work may be initiated by the Employee or the University may approach an Employee to undertake such work.

Keywords

Designated workplace, facilities, availability, Student consultation, work allocation, workload, model, working from home, WH&S, OH&S, workplace health and safety, ordinary hours, weekend, overtime, meal allowance, on-call, call-out, shiftwork, TOIL, RDO, breaks, Outside Employment, paid work, conflict of interest, consultancy, private practice, Children, working with Children, blue card, suitability notice, flexible working arrangements, work/life balance

Record No

15/2859PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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