All academic and professional staff are entitled to a Flexible Working Arrangement. The nature of that arrangement may include:

  1. Changing hours of work
  2. Working remotely
  3. Job share
  4. Changing patterns of work

The nature of a staff member's Flexible Working Arrangement will be negotiated in accordance with the principles and procedures outlined below.

5.1.1 Principles Guiding Flexible Work Arrangements In evaluating a staff member's request for Flexible Working Arrangement, the following principles will apply:

  1. The recognition that while some tasks need to be performed on-campus, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that most staff can productively perform their roles remotely. This includes roles that are client-facing;
  2. Attendance on campus by staff contributes to the development of vibrant campus environments, along with similar levels of attendance by students, and use of the campuses by community members;
  3. Where a staff member works in a team environment or with shared responsibilities, as far as practicable the supervisor will take into account the needs of the whole team in considering Flexible Working Arrangements requests; and
  4. A staff member needs to be reasonable in what Flexible Working Arrangement they request, and a supervisor needs to be reasonable in considering the request. In considering any application for flexible working arrangements, the University will take into account all relevant factors including:

  1. The nature of the applicant's role and whether aspects of their duties are suitable for the requested arrangements (including whether some aspects of the role can be performed on particular days of the week or month, or in weeks of the year);
  2. Any service delivery and student or client-facing aspects of the role, and whether these may be completed face-to-face or remotely;
  3. Other flexible working arrangements in the staff member's team;
  4. Any reasonable adjustments that may be made to accommodate the request;
  5. Whether the role has been performed under similar arrangements in the past; and
  6. Any caring responsibility, disability, age, and/or whether the staff member or a member of their household or immediate family is experiencing family, domestic or intimate partner violence.

No single factor will be determinative and all relevant factors will be weighed together.

5.1.2 Applications for Flexible Working Arrangements A request for a Flexible Working Arrangement must be lodged in writing through appropriate channels. The request must set out the details of the change sought, including the duration (up to 12 months), and an outline of how the Flexible Working Arrangement aligns with the principles and factors outlined in clause 5.1.1.

  1. Where a staff member works as part of a team or shares responsibilities with other staff, the team may meet and co-design a reasonable set of Flexible Working Arrangements amongst themselves for consideration by the supervisor. The University is not obliged to agree to these Flexible Working Arrangements.
  2. Where there are more than one Flexible Working Arrangement requests in a team, the supervisor will, as far as practicable, consider the Flexible Working Arrangement requests together.
  3. The role of the supervisor is not to evaluate whether a staff member is entitled to Flexible Working Arrangement, but rather to apply the principles outlined in 5.1.1 when considering the request. The supervisor may consult with their Head of School and/or Director to ensure that this clause is being complied with and applied equitably across work areas.
  4. The University will provide a written response to the request within twenty-one (21) days advising whether the request is granted or refused;
  5. The University may only refuse a request on reasonable grounds where it would not be reasonably practicable to accommodate the request;
  6. If the request is refused, the response will include details of the reasons for the refusal;
  7. Following a refusal, the staff member and the supervisor will propose and discuss reasonable alternative Flexible Working Arrangement. Where an alternative arrangement is agreed to, it will be implemented. Flexible working arrangements will be reviewed annually. The staff member and University can agree to change a flexible working arrangement at any time. A staff member may also request ad hoc or short-term changes to work times or locations. The University will only refuse such a request where it is not reasonably practicable to accommodate the request.

5.1.3 Staff location and availability The parties recognise that the University has important obligations and liabilities under work health and safety and workers' compensation legislation, and therefore has a legitimate interest in knowing where any particular staff member is working on any particular day. Where:

  1. a staff member's normal place of work is on campus; or,
  2. a staff member is working pursuant to a flexible working arrangement that means that they will be working from another location;

and they propose to work from a different location on a particular day, the staff member will submit a notification through the approved HR system. The staff member may be required to submit a declaration regarding the safety of the proposed alternative workplace.

5.1.4 Right to Disconnect The University will implement measures to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that a staff member is not contacted by phone or electronic communication except in the circumstances outlined in (a) - (c) below where it is stated or implied that a response or consideration is required prior to the time at which the staff member will next be working their normal hours. Such measures will include informing managers, supervisors, and students that they cannot expect responses to communications outside of working hours, subject to the exceptions outlined below. A staff member will not be required or expected to respond to such contact outside of the circumstances described in (a) - (c) below. Those circumstances are:

  1. During a staff member's regular working hours;
  2. Pursuant to a relevant clause of this Agreement (for example, notification of an unplanned absence, during authorised overtime, call back to work, notification of rostering changes, or paid on-call arrangements); or
  3. In the case of a genuine emergency, such as where there is a serious immediate risk to students or major University property.

For the purposes of this clause only, an academic staff member's regular working hours are deemed to be 8am-6pm, or where they are scheduled to perform work outside of these hours (such as the delivery or coordination of a timetabled class) their regular working hours will include those hours they are scheduled to work. A staff member will not be prejudiced in their employment on the basis that they have not responded to communications outside of their normal working hours unless that communication falls into one of the exceptions in above.

5.1.5 Changing Patterns of Work Including Reversion to Part-Time Work

A full-time staff member may apply to work part-time on a temporary or ongoing basis according to the staff member's contract of employment and the needs of the University. There is no limit to the fraction of full-time workload that a part-time staff member may work, although this is at the discretion of the University.

Page last updated on 08/02/2023

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