- Background Information
- Policy Purpose
- Application of Policy
- Employer Initiated Change in hours
- Principles of Flexible Time Working Arrangements
- Glossary of Terms
- Revisions made to this Policy
- Further Assistance
1. Background Information
ACU is committed through its Mission Statement “to the dignity of all human beings” and endeavours to provide a flexible, supportive and diverse working environment which encourages employees to live a balanced lifestyle, combining work, family and community responsibilities.
In line with broader Catholic Social Teaching, the University recognises that work is integral for underpinning personal fulfilment, and private and social dignity. One of the principal ways that this recognition is manifested at ACU is through the practical development and application of a work-and-life balance philosophy which is a core component of the University’s emerging workplace culture.
Work is recognised as an important, but not an exclusive, means through which a person contributes to society at large. In balance to their work activities, people need to share time with their family, to attend to their personal spiritual development, to rest, and to pursue wider cultural, educational and recreational interests through which they might grow, develop and further contribute to their spiritual and intellectual life.
As an employer ACU strives to balance the needs of the individual employee and the University to enable work-and-life needs to be addressed appropriately. The overall aim is to optimise the contribution of employees in the achievement of both personal and professional outcomes in an environment that is co-operative, supportive and efficient.
2.1 This policy applies to all staff at ACU.
2.2 This policy should be read in conjunction with the following guides:
- Working Flexibly @ ACU: A Guide for Staff
- Working Flexibly @ ACU: A Guide for Nominated Supervisors and Managers
These guides provide further information in relation to the procedures required for requesting, approving and effectively implementing flexible work arrangements in accordance with this policy.
3. Policy Purpose
The purpose of this policy is:
a) to establish the University’s approach to flexible work, including flexible work options, eligibility and considerations for staff and their nominated supervisors;
b) to explain the ‘right to request’ flexible work, which is available to eligible staff under the Enterprise Agreement, and the nominated supervisor’s responsibility to respond to such a request; and
c) to enable effective, equitable, transparent and mutually beneficial flexible work arrangements.
In addition, the University recognises the following:
- there are times when flexible workplace arrangements may assist staff to manage emergencies, family responsibilities and other commitments; and
- that flexible working is not a barrier to promotion or management responsibilities.
4. Application of Policy
4.1 Examples of flexible working arrangements
There are many examples of flexible working arrangements. A staff member and their nominated supervisor will consider whether they are appropriate in all circumstances, as there may be other flexible working options that are outside those identified in this document that meet both the operational and staff member’s needs.
Flexible Working Arrangement
Changing hours of work
Flexible start and finish times: A regular work pattern where the staff member’s start and finish times are different from core business hours within the work
Ordinary hours worked are set out in the Agreement. The nominated supervisor may approve work patterns within these parameters.
Overtime rates do not apply if a staff member works outside the core business hours within the work area due to an individual flexibility agreement.
|Changing patterns of work||An agreed work arrangement where a staff member chooses to reduce their employment fraction, commonly from full-time to part-time, on a temporary basis for personal reasons.|
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.
The staff member may decide to resume duties on a full-time basis or increase their employment fraction, which may not meet the needs of the University.
|Changing the location of work||An arrangement where a staff member performs some of their duties from home or another location off campus.|
If working from home staff members should ensure they have an approved Working from Home Agreement for ACU insurance coverage, which includes a WHS Inspection Checklist for Home Workstations.
All Work Health Safety, and Wellbeing policies and procedures that apply to staff members of the University will, as far as practicable, apply in carrying out work at a home-based site.
The University’s Workers Compensation and Workplace Rehabilitation Policy applies to staff undertaking approved home-based work in the same way as to staff working on campus or undertaking ACU work.
Staff members are solely responsible for checking whether home-based work has any impact on any existing home insurance arrangements they may have, including public liability or equipment covered by their own home contents insurance, and any obligations they may have to notify their insurer their home is to be used for work purposes.
If changing the location of work, including working from home, involves access to University resources and computer networks, staff members must comply with the Acceptable Use of IT Facilities Policy.
Working from home must not be used as a substitute for childcare. Staff must make appropriate childcare arrangements for working from home days.
Staff who work from home/telecommute are required to follow the same procedures for notifying of absences (eg sick leave) and notification of incidents/hazards on riskware, that apply to all staff.
|Changing work arrangements, including Job Share||An employment arrangement where two (or more) staff members, each working part-time, share all the duties and responsibilities of a full-time position.|
Job-sharing will be subject to operational requirements of the organisational unit and may be introduced by agreement between the staff member(s) and the nominated supervisor.
Staff working in a job-share arrangement will normally share one full-time position at the same classification level, with each person working part-time on a regular basis and in accordance with the conditions for part-time staff.
Compressed Working Weeks or averaging hours of work
An academic workload allocation, for teaching related duties, may be greater in one teaching period to accommodate a need in part of the year. To compensate for this, adjustments would occur to ensure the annual workload allocation for the staff member falls within the ranges and tolerances in accordance with the Academic Workload Policy.
A professional staff member may work the same number of weekly (or fortnightly or monthly) working hours, compressed into a shorter period. For example, a 35 hour week may be worked at the rate of 8 hours and 45 minutes per day for 4 days, instead of 7 hours a day for five days.
To accommodate peak workload demands at specified times of the year, a staff member may work more than the normal weekly hours allowed for by the ACU Staff Enterprise Agreement, up to a maximum of 40 hours per week, and less at other times in the year so that across the year the average normal weekly hours are worked. These arrangements will be documented and agreed to at the beginning of every year.
Changes to salary are not required subject to organisational requirements, which may include consideration of how the work activity or service delivery is delivered.
The recording of hours will be required to be reconciled at least twice per year in line with the Recording of Hours Worked Policy and will need to be submitted as part of any exit process to ensure any over or under amount of hours are paid or deducted.
- Further examples of flexible working arrangements are provided in the Working Flexibly @ ACU guidelines.
- Staff may also be able to apply for a flexi time arrangement. See item 6.2 for further information relating to this.
4.2 'Right to Request' a Flexible Working Arrangement
Depending on their circumstances, a staff member may have a right under the Enterprise Agreement to request a flexible working arrangement. A staff member who:
a) has responsibility for the care of a child who is school age or younger;
b) has a child who is under eighteen (18) years of age and who has a disability;
c) is a Carer (as defined)
d) is fifty-five (55) years or older;
e) has a disability;
f) is experiencing family violence or who is providing care or support to a member of the staff member’s immediately family or household who requires care or support because the member is experience violence from the member’s family;
g) is a parent, or has responsibility for the care of the child, and is returning to work after taking leave in relation to the birth or adoption of the child,
has the right to submit a request for a change to their working arrangements and have that request considered and formally responded to by the University.
This right is available to:
- a fixed term or continuing staff member; or
- a long term casual staff member who has a reasonable expectation of continuing employment on a regular and systematic basis.
4.2.1 The staff member must lodge their request in writing with their nominated supervisor. The request must set out the details of the change/s sought and provide the reasons for the requested change to working arrangements. The staff member should also specify if the requested change is to be ongoing or for a fixed period of time. The Working Flexibly @ ACU: A Guide for Staff provides further information to assist staff members in completing this process.
4.2.2 The nominated supervisor will discuss the request with the staff member in a timely way and attempt to negotiate an agreement, taking into consideration the needs of the staff member, consequences for the staff member if changes in working arrangements cannot be made and any reasonable business grounds for refusing the staff member’s request. The nominated supervisor is encouraged to consult with their HR Business Partner during this process and before making a decision. The final decision must be approved by the relevant Member of the Executive on recommendation from the nominated supervisor.
4.2.3 The nominated supervisor will provide a written response to the request within 21 days, advising whether the request is approved or refused. If approved, the nominated supervisor will propose a future date to review the Flexible Working Arrangement.
4.2.4 The nominated supervisor may only refuse a request on reasonable operational grounds and, if the request is refused, the response will include details of the reasons for the refusal.
4.2.5 Reasonable business grounds for refusing a request for flexible working arrangements include, but are not limited to:
- the new working arrangements requested by the staff member being too costly for the University;
- there is no capacity to change the working arrangements of other staff members to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the staff member;
- it would be impractical to change the working arrangements of other staff members, or recruit new staff members, to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the staff member;
- the new working arrangements requested by the staff member would be likely to result in significant loss of efficiency or productivity;
- the new working arrangements requested by the staff member would be likely to have a negative impact on customer service.
Where a flexible work arrangement is not approved, a staff member may request a review of their application from their nominated supervisor or manager which could include consideration of viable alternatives and may include considering various leave options available to them as detailed in the Recreation Leave (including Annual Leave) Policy.
5. Employer initiated change in hours
5.1 The University may change staff hours of work, following consultation, in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.
5.2 Nominated supervisors are required to consult with staff about a change to the staff member’s ordinary hours or work and/or to their regular roster, but not where a staff member has irregular, sporadic or unpredictable hours of work. A staff member may be accompanied to a consultation meeting by a person of their choice, including a staff representative.
5.3 The nominated supervisor will provide information to the staff member about the proposed change and invite the staff member, or their representative, to provide their views about the impact of the change (including any impact in relation to their family or caring responsibilities).
5.4 The nominated supervisor will consider any views given by the staff member about the impact of the proposed change prior to a decision being made to either implement the proposed change, some other form of arrangement, or maintain the status quo.
5.5 A staff member may not be unreasonably required to alter their regular roster or ordinary hours of work if there are good and sufficient reasons why they may not be able to accommodate such a requirement. These good and sufficient reasons may include (but are not limited to) elderly or child care arrangements.
6. Principles of Flexible Time Working Arrangements
6.1 Academic Staff Working Arrangements
The University acknowledges that the academic staff members work flexibly, subject to arrangements regarding academic workload allocation, academic career pathways, and the principles of academic availability.
6.2 Purpose of Professional Staff Flexible Time Working Arrangements
6.2.1 For professional staff, flexible time working arrangements (or ‘flexi time’) may be agreed as a way of balancing operational requirements with staff requirements to achieve work-and-life balance.
6.2.2 Flexible time arrangements may vary across and within work groups according to particular work demands and service requirements. Working arrangements will be subject to the operational convenience of the work unit and must be approved by the relevant Member of the Executive on recommendation from the nominated supervisor of the work unit.
6.2.3 Not all aspects of these arrangements will apply to all professional staff because of the particular role a staff member may perform within a particular work group, or due to the hours they work (e.g. part time and/or fractional). Some staff may participate in a limited way whereby variations may occur in a staff member’s hours during a particular cycle according to work demands.
6.2.4 The University may require professional staff to work more flexibly to assist in maintaining work unit operations or to provide for enhanced operations in circumstances such as:
- where a particular staff member is absent, and the absence was unplanned for;
- providing an expanded or additional period of service to students and other clients;
- to complete an item of work where continuity is necessary; or,
- to meet a University need/deadline.
6.2.5 The application of these working arrangements is to be irregular and prospective and are not intended to be used as a mechanism for avoiding the payment of overtime.
6.3 Parameters for Professional Staff Flexible Time Working Arrangements
A professional staff member, including a shift worker, and their nominated supervisor may negotiate working arrangements within the following parameters:
the maximum number of ordinary hours which may be worked on any one day is 9 hours;
the normal weekly ordinary hours of work is thirty five (35) hours, however the maximum number of hours which may be worked in any week is 45 hours;
the normal daily span of hours worked under these arrangements will be 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday, but this may be extended to 7:30 am to 7:00 pm where it is essential to maintain a University service or activity;
the ordinary hours of work for caretaking/cleaning/gardening/security staff shall be worked between 6:00am to 10:00pm, Monday to Friday;
except in an emergency, a professional staff member will normally be given forty eight (48) hours’ notice if they are required to work during the period 7:30am to 8:00am or 6:00pm to 7:00pm;
overtime and shift penalties are not applicable between 7:30am and 7:00pm;
a professional staff member will work an average of 140 hours over a four-week cycle;
part-time professional staff will work the hours specified in their contract of employment over a four (4) week cycle (or the contracted period in the case of casual staff);
subject to receipt of a written request from the staff member which is formally approved by the Member of the Executive, a staff member may work ordinary hours outside the normal span of ordinary hours provided that the staff member is not required to do so under this provision; and
subject to receipt of a written request from the staff member which is formally approved by the nominated supervisor, a staff member may work ordinary hours on a Saturday; provided that the staff member is not required to work on a Saturday under this provision and the staff member works their normal hours during that week to enable at least two days off during the calendar week.
6.4 Recording of Hours Worked
Where a staff member works irregular hours as part of a flexible work arrangement, these hours must be recorded each day on the Time Record – Flexible Working Arrangements for Professional Staff and this record should be submitted to their nominated supervisor every four weeks.
Nominated supervisors are responsible for the efficient and sensible operation of flexible work arrangements within a particular work group and for ensuring the University’s operations are effectively maintained at all times. The administration associated with these may arrangements include:
- the completion of daily time sheets by all staff;
- the reconciliation of daily time sheets; and the completion and submission of leave forms.
6.6 Work Cycles
Each year is divided into two six-monthly reconciliation periods (normally, January to June and July to December) and each six-month period is divided into four-week cycles. No excess accumulated time may be carried forward from one six-monthly reconciliation period to the next.
6.7 Accrued Flexible Time
6.7.1 Normally no more than 28 hours of time accumulated during a four-week work cycle may be carried over into another cycle. However, with prior approval of the relevant Member of the Executive, up to 35 hours accumulated time may be carried into another work cycle. Time accumulated in excess of 35 hours will be paid out to the staff member at the staff member’s ordinary rate of pay.
6.7.2 Staff may not carry a time debit into another four-week work cycle without the prior approval of the relevant Member of the Executive. A staff member with a flexible time debit at the end of a cycle will be required to submit a leave form to cover the deficit. In such circumstances, the staff member may elect to use any annual or long service leave to credit or to take the time as leave without pay.
6.7.3 It is not necessary for a staff member to have a credit balance when taking time off, nor to have worked a full work cycle in the case of newly appointed staff entering duty part way through a work cycle.
6.7.4 Where a staff member has accumulated flexible time credits in excess of 7 hours, this may be taken by agreement with the nominated supervisor.
6.7.5 A staff member must obtain the prior approval of the nominated supervisor prior to taking time off under the conditions of this policy.
6.8 Approved Leave and Public/University Holidays
6.8.1 Periods of approved leave and/or public/University holidays which fall during a work cycle are regarded as a staff member’s normal working day and do not count as accruing additional time unless a staff member is required to work on a public/University holiday.
6.8.2 By agreement with the nominated supervisor, a staff member may take a half-day annual leave together with a half-day time off.
6.8.3 As personal leave is credited and debited in hours, a staff member and their nominated supervisor may agree on whether a staff member takes personal leave or accumulated time off to cover an absence due to illness.
6.9 Flexible time when ending employment
6.9.1 A staff member who gives notice of their resignation or retirement will, during the period of notice, take all reasonable steps to eliminate any accumulated credit or debit. Nominated supervisors shall facilitate the leave taking during this period.
6.9.2 A staff member who has not been able to exhaust all their flexible time credits will, on termination of employment, be paid the monetary value of any flexible time credits.
6.9.3 A staff member who works a particular pattern of work, and has a debit of hours upon termination, will have the monetary value deducted from money owing at termination.
7. Glossary of terms
Has the meaning given in the Carer Recognition Act 2010 (Cth) (or the Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 (NSW)), being an individual who provides personal care, support and assistance to another individual who needs it because that other individual:
(a) has a disability; or
(b) has a medical condition (including a terminal or chronic illness); or
(c) has a mental illness; or
(d) is frail and aged.
An individual is not a carer in respect of care, support and assistance he or she provides:
(a) under a contract of service or a contract for the provision of services; or
(b) in the course of doing voluntary work for a charitable, welfare or community organisation; or
(c) as part of the requirements of a course of education or training.
To avoid doubt, an individual is not a carer merely because he or she:
(a) is the spouse, de facto partner, parent, child or other relative of an individual, or is the guardian of an individual; or
(b) lives with an individual who requires care.
|Enterprise Agreement||Australian Catholic University Staff Enterprise Agreement 2017 - 2021|
|Fair Work Act||Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), as amended from time to time|
8. Revisions made to this Policy
Major, Minor or Editorial
9 April 2014
This Policy has been updated to incorporate the “right to request” and consultation amendments from the Fair Work Act, 2009 and to implement the ACU Staff Enterprise Agreement 2013-2017.
13 August 2018
ACU brand template update and Staff Connect advice at Item 4.1 regarding Request to Vary instructions and Service Connect link for further assistance.
20 January 2020
Updated to incorporate the provisions of the Australian Catholic University Staff Enterprise Agreement 2017– 2021.
The University may make changes to this policy from time to time to improve the effectiveness of its operation. In this regard, any staff member who wishes to make any comments about this policy may forward their suggestions to Human Resources.
9. Further Assistance
Any staff member who requires assistance in understanding this policy should first consult their nominated supervisor who is responsible for the implementation and operation of these arrangements in their work area. Should further information or advice be required staff should visit Service Central.
- Time Record - Flexible Work Arrangements for Professional Staff (Form, MS Excel Document, 104.1 KB)
- WHS Checklist for Home Workstations and agreement for working from home.pdf (Form, PDF File, 690.2 KB)
- Working Flexibly@ACU Guide for Staff (Guidelines, PDF File, 170.6 KB)
- Working Flexibly@ACU Guide for Supervisors and Managers (Guidelines, PDF File, 178.0 KB)
- Flexible Working Arrangements Policy (Policy, PDF File, 167.7 KB)
|Policy applies to||
|Policy Status||Revision of Existing Policy|
|Approval Authority||Vice-Chancellor And President|
|Governing Authority||Chief Operating Officer|
|Responsible Officer||Director, Human Resources|
|Date of Last Revision||20/01/2020|
|Effective Date of Last Revision||20/01/2020|
* Unless otherwise indicated, this policy will still apply beyond the review date.
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines and Local Protocols
- ACU Staff Enterprise Agreement 2017 - 2021
- Working Flexibly @ ACU - A Guide for Staff
- Working Flexibly @ ACU - A Guide for Nominated Supervisors and Managers
- Major Change, Notice, Redeployment, Redundancy and Voluntary Retirement Policy
- Employment of Fractional Staff Policy
- Employment of Part-Time Staff Policy
- Overtime for Professional Staff Policy
- Parental Leave Policy
- Recreation Leave (including Annual Leave) Policy
Page last updated: 2020-02-17
Short url: https://policies.acu.edu.au/168995