Work schedules

Women's Caucus lauds University's flexible work schedule policy

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9:55 a.m., Oct. 17, 2012--The challenge of balancing work hours and family obligations is one familiar to many employees of the University of Delaware. Thanks to a new policy regarding flexible work schedules, UD employees may now request alternative work schedules, such as working from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. instead of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., or working a compressed work week, such as working nine rather than 10 days over a two-week period.

According to Rebecca Davis, associate professor of history and the co-chair of the Women’s Caucus, this policy marks a significant advance in how the University accommodates the personal and family obligations of its employees. “Between daycare drop-off times, schools that let out at 3 p.m., and elder care responsibilities, many employees have long needed to be able to negotiate flexible work schedules in order to balance their obligations to their jobs and families. Given that women traditionally bear the brunt of child and eldercare, this policy advances gender equity and demonstrates respect for the demands on employees’ time.”

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The new flexible work schedule policy (Personnel Policy 4-114) explains that flexible work schedules benefit employees, supervisors and employers alike: “Flexible work schedules are a critical means of maintaining job satisfaction and quality of life among University staff” and 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 implementation of the flexible work schedule demonstrates the University’s recognition of the various demands and responsibilities of its employees and further aligns the University with its aspirational peers that have adopted similar programs. 

In order to obtain a flexible work schedule, an employee needs to submit a request to his or her supervisor. The goal is to arrive at an arrangement that will be productive for both the employee and the department, and results in no reduction in service, quality of work or productivity. (The flex time policy does not pertain to faculty or officers of the University.)

Employees interested in seeking a flexible work schedule must complete a request form, which can be downloaded from the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President and University Treasurer. Be sure to check with your department’s HR Liaison if you have more questions.

About the Women’s Caucus

The Women’s Caucus advocates for positive change on issues of concern to women at the University of Delaware. It is one of nine caucuses affiliated with the Diversity and Equity Commission. 

To find out more information about the Women’s Caucus, visit the website or email womenscaucus@udel.edu. The next general meeting of the Women’s Caucus will be Thursday, Nov. 1, from 12:30-1:45 p.m., in 206 Trabant University Center. All women who work at the University of Delaware are invited to attend.

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