Flexible Working Arrangements Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To outline the University's flexible working arrangements available for its Employees.

2 Scope

This Procedure applies to all eligible Employees.

3 Procedure Overview

This Procedure details the flexible working arrangements available for eligible Employees.

4 Procedures

4.1 Requests for flexible work arrangements

4.1.1 Requests on legislative grounds

An Employee has a legislative right to request flexible work arrangements if they:

  • are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a Child who is of school age or younger
  • are a carer
  • are a parent returning to work after taking leave in relation to the birth or adoption of a Child
  • are 55 years or older
  • have a disability
  • are experiencing violence from a member of their family
  • provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household, who requires care of support because they are experience violence from their family.

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

4.1.1.1 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.

4.1.2 Requests for other reasons

The University also supports Employees who request flexible working arrangements to meet their individual needs which may include but is not limited to:

  • undertaking study
  • sporting career/interest
  • better work/life balance
  • transitioning to retirement
  • personal health issues
  • participating in voluntary work.

4.2 Types of flexible working options

The University seeks to balance interests of the University and individual Employees, in accordance with the USQ Enterprise Agreement and provides a variety of flexible working options to facilitate this.

4.2.1 Fractional employment

Fractional employment enables Employees to reduce their working hours in order to fulfil other responsibilities or interests. An Employee may be engaged for a fraction of full-time employment (sometimes referred to as part-time employment).

4.2.2 Sessional employment

Employees in the Residential Colleges and Printery may be employed on a sessional basis. Sessional Employees are engaged for a minimum of 32 weeks per year and for a minimum of 18 hours per week normally to accommodate workflow "peaks or troughs". Sessional Employees receive a 10% loading on the equivalent hourly rate for full-time Employees for hours worked in the fortnight. A sessional Employee will receive the entitlements of a full-time Employee on a proportional basis determined by the hours worked within the year.

4.2.3 Term

Term Employees are engaged on a continuing basis for a minimum of 26 weeks in a calendar year and works for a minimum of 15 hours per week. Term Employees are advised at the beginning of each calendar year as to which weeks they are required to work. Term Employees are paid fortnightly at a proportional rate to a full-time Employee for the hours worked in the fortnight.

4.2.4 Annualised hours employment

Annualised hours Employees may be engaged on a continuing or fixed-term basis for an agreed number of nominated hours within a 12 month period to meet work unit requirements. The total number of nominated hours (including the annual leave component) is averaged to a fortnightly salary.

4.2.5 48/52 weeks per year working arrangements

A full-time Employee can apply to take up to eight weeks annual leave in a year and receive 48 weeks salary, which would be payable over the full 52 weeks. This will be subject to agreement between the Supervisor and the Employee, and based on the needs of the work area.

4.2.6 Job sharing

Job sharing involves dividing one position among two or more people. It is a voluntary arrangement between the Employee/s involved and the cost centre manager and allows people to work less than full time, whilst ensuring that all the duties of the job are completed. Job sharing can also bring skills and experience and improved flexibility to a workplace as there are two people in a job instead of one

4.2.7 Flexible working hours

Within the needs of the work area, flexible working hours provide Employees flexibility in hours of work. Ordinary hours of work for professional Employees at the University is 36 hours per week. These hours may be worked on any consecutive days in the week, Monday to Sunday inclusive, between 6.00am and 10.00pm. The ordinary hours of work will not exceed 10 hours on any one day, and the number of days worked in a seven day cycle will not normally exceed five.

4.2.8 Rostered Day Off (RDO) arrangement

Rostered Day Off (RDO) arrangements may be organised by mutual agreement between individual Employees and their Supervisor and vary across the University. Options available to Employees in any particular work area will be influenced by the nature of the work and the contact with clients and Employees. In some areas, Employees may work a nine day fortnight or a 19 day month arrangement by working additional time each week to accrue this RDO.

4.2.9 Working from another location

The University recognises that working from another location may be an effective option in some circumstances for an Employee and for the work area. The Working from Another Location Procedure enables Employees to work from another location if there is mutual agreement between the University, the Employee and a Category 4 Delegate.

4.2.10 Pre-retirement fixed-term appointments

Where a full-time or fractional Employee declares an intention to retire, the Employee may seek to enter into a pre-retirement fixed-term appointment for a period of up to five years.

4.2.11 Refocusing of activities - research or teaching specialisation and scholarship appointments

Under the category 'refocusing of activities - research or teaching specialisation and scholarship appointments', academic Employees are able to convert to research or teaching specialisation and scholarship duties which provides the opportunity to focus on an area of expertise or interest, allowing the area to both accommodate the Employee and retain corporate knowledge.

4.3 Application process

Employees are to discuss flexible work arrangements with their Supervisor and submit a request to Human Resources.

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.

Requests must be forwarded to the Delegate for consideration and approval. In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, Supervisors are required to provide a response to the Employee within 21 days of receipt of the request for flexible work arrangements.

Once terms and conditions are mutually agreed, applications must be and submitted to Human Resources for action.

4.4 Workplace adjustments

Employees may request workplace adjustments that will facilitate their ability to perform their work tasks, improve their work environment and manage any person impacts on their work environment.

The Supervisor of the work area and the University will determine whether the particular adjustment is reasonable and does not cause major difficulties or unreasonable costs to a person or the University. Employees with a disability are encouraged to speak with their Supervisor to access the assistance and support available to them.

5 Delegated Responsibilities

Approver

Level of Delegation

Supervisor

Respond to requests for flexible work arrangements.

Category 4 Delegate or above

Approve requests for flexible work arrangements.

Approve requests for working from another location.

6 References

Nil.

7 Schedules

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

8 Procedure Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Executive Director (Human Resources)

Responsible Officer

Executive Director (Human Resources)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Approved Date

17/4/2019

Effective Date

17/4/2019

Review Date

3/4/2022

Relevant Legislation

Fair Work Act 2009

USQ Enterprise Agreement

Related Policies

Working Hours and Arrangements Policy

Related Procedures

Appointments: Modes of Employment Procedure

Employees with a Disability Procedure

Working from Another Location 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.

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.

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 procedure only

Child

Means anyone under the age of 18.

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 person responsible for leading the activities of others. In the context of this Procedure, a Supervisor includes Employees at any classification level or title who have responsibilities for leading, managing or supervising work teams and/or individual Employees.

Keywords

Flexible hours, flexible working arrangements, leave, parental leave, work life balance

Record No

15/2897PL

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

* This file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should email policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.