Section: Personnel Policy Number: 4-114 Policy Name: Flexible Work Schedule Date: May 15, 2012; August 4, 2014
PURPOSE AND GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY
The University of Delaware recognizes the growing demands on staff who have both professional and personal responsibilities, as well as the increasing challenge of finding new and better ways to manage people, time, space, and workload effectively.
Flexible work schedules are a critical means of maintaining job satisfaction and quality of life among University staff. Flexible work schedules provide employees with the flexibility needed to balance work and personal responsibilities. Flexible work schedules can promote productivity, enhance job satisfaction, enable recruitment and retention of valuable staff, contribute to environmental sustainability, and strengthen the University’s position as an employer of choice.
The University permits the use of flexible work schedules when they are pre-approved, accommodate the personal or family needs of employees, assist in meeting operational needs and requirements, and are consistent with the maintenance of a high level of service by the University.
As used in this policy, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.
“Employee” means any University employee, who is paid by the University through its payroll system. The term “employee” excludes full-time and part-time faculty members, and also excludes University officers as that term is defined and used in the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees.
“Department” means the department or unit in which an employee is employed.
A flexible work schedule (FWS) is an arrangement that is different from a department’s normal work schedule and that accommodates the needs of employees and their departments. An FWS may include working different hours or schedules from the norm (for example, 7:00 am to 3:30 pm instead of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm), or working a compressed workweek (for example, eight workdays over a two-week period instead of ten days). An FWS must still equate to the same standard hours an employee currently works (if there is a change in standard hours please contact the Office of Records Management).
An FWS may not include job sharing, telecommuting, or working at a location remote from the office.
A compressed workweek schedule must include a minimum of eight out of ten workdays over a two-week period.
An employee and supervisor do not need to enter into an FWS arrangement if the employee’s adjusted start time is within one hour of the department’s regularly scheduled start time.
The Process for Approving an FWS.
Assessing the feasibility of an FWS should be a collaborative effort between employee and supervisor. The goal is to arrive at an arrangement that will be productive for the employee, other employees in the department, and the department itself. An FWS will be deemed feasible only if it results in no reduction in a department’s service, quality of work, or productivity.
FWSs require the approval of the employee’s supervisor and department head. Approved FWSs must then be submitted to the Office of Records Management.
If an FWS is approved, it will be implemented for a specified, predetermined period of time (not to exceed one year) that can be extended only by mutual agreement of employee and supervisor. The department will evaluate the effectiveness of the FWS after six months and at every annual performance appraisal. If changes are made to the FWS or the employee returns to their original schedule, alert the Office of Records Management to this change (Fax, Email, or Campus Mail).
If the supervisor or department head who approved the FWS leaves his or her position, FWSs in that area will be reviewed, and either continued or canceled at the discretion of the new supervisor or department head.
An FWS may be discontinued at any time if it is determined by the supervisor or department head no longer to meet the operational needs of the department. In the event an FWS is discontinued, the department will notify the employee as far in advance of the discontinuation as is feasible under the circumstances.
An employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement shall be eligible for an FWS only to the extent permitted by the collective bargaining agreement between the applicable union and the University.
Special Employee Requirements under FWSs.
It may at times be necessary for an employee with an FWS to work a regular schedule, attend an important meeting, or participate in a training session outside of FWS hours. The employee’s supervisor will give reasonable notice when special meetings or limited-duration alterations in FWS hours are necessary, and it will be the responsibility of the employee to make appropriate arrangements to attend.
The university may establish flexible work hours as a condition of employment, based on its operational and business needs. In such cases, this requirement will be specified when the position is advertised and in correspondence offering employment.
Benefits and Pay Implications of FWSs.
Employees with FWSs will receive the same pay and benefits as they would if they were working the same number of hours per year without special arrangements. Under no circumstances may an FWS result in additional overtime obligations.
FWS Application Procedures.
An employee seeking an FWS must complete the FWS request form (see attachment) and submit it to his or her supervisor and department head.
The supervisor and department head must review the FWS request and either approve it, approve it with additional provisions or modifications, or deny it. If a request for an FWS is denied, the reasons must be communicated to the employee and the decision will be final. Approved FWS requests must be forwarded to the Office of Records Management (Fax, Email, Campus Mail) for inclusion in the employee's file and updating their work schedule.
The Office of Human Resources is available as a resource to staff and departments in assessing and resolving potential issues that may arise with FWSs.