Alternative Work Options and Review Steps
ALTERNATIVE WORK OPTIONS
Supervisors and employees may agree upon a number of alternative work arrangements including schedule and location agreements. These include:
- Compressed Full-Time
- Remote Work
- Flexible Schedules
- Ad Hoc Schedules
Supervisors and employees will formalize the expectations of these alternative work arrangements in the Alternative Work Arrangement Form. The specific steps to complete the Alternative Work Arrangement Form are detailed in Section 3. In this form, the supervisors and employees may agree to work arrangements that combine elements of the different alternative work arrangements. The supervisors will clearly communicate their expectations in the Alternative Work Arrangement Form. To become official, the supervisor(s) must review and sign off on the Alternative Work Arrangement Form and HR must review and approve the arrangement.
These alternative work arrangements do not change the supervisor-employee obligations outlined in the University PPM. Employees will request leave in accordance with established departmental procedures and will accurately report their leave and time worked in time and attendance reports. They are responsible for communicating with their supervisors and co-workers. For example, employees are still responsible for attending meetings and fulfilling all other obligations. Employees are obligated to timely complete their work responsibilities and work the schedule described in the Alternative Work Arrangement Form. Departures from approved time without authorization may violate the University PPM and may constitute violations of the law such as theft and fraud.
Similarly, supervisors will review and approve time and attendance reports. Supervisors will require their employees to timely complete their work obligations and communicate their expectations to these employees. Supervisors will approve or deny requested changes in work schedules. Supervisors will immediately report to Human Resources any workplace-related injury or illness.
The subsections below describe in detail the alternative work arrangements. They outline specific rules and considerations that supervisors and employees will follow and consider when implementing these work arrangements. Employees must understand that regardless of the arrangement made, there may be times when a departure from the approved arrangement is required by the supervisor/University. Supervisors should strive to provide reasonable notice of such departures in advance.
Compressed Full-Time means working the normal hours scheduled to be worked for the employee, in a shorter period of time than is the standard schedule. Generally this means 40 hours per week on average over a month while averaging less than five full-time workdays per week. An example of this arrangement is working four 10-hour days per week.
- Non-Exempt employees must work 40 hours, but no more than 40 hours unless authorized by their supervisor;
- Per PPM 3-2, exempt employees are expected to work on average 40 to 50 hours per week;
Exempt Employee Project Completion
If an exempt employee is working a Compressed Full-Time schedule, the exempt employee will work any additional time reasonably needed to complete an unfinished project, which may include time beyond the Compressed Full-Time schedule.
Compressed Full-Time Holidays
For weeks when University paid holidays occur as outlined in PPM 3-39, the Compressed Full-Time schedule will revert back to the standard workweek—5 days and 40 hours a week schedule. Employees will manage their schedule in accordance with this rule. Holiday pay is prorated based on employee FTE (e.g. .75 FTE holiday hours = 6; 1.0 FTE holiday hours = 8). To determine the number of hours the employee will be required to work during a week when there is a University paid holiday, subtract the holiday hours from 40.
Compressed Full-Time Personal Leave
Employees working a Compressed Full-Time schedule will calculate leave for vacation and sick days based on the hours of the agreed upon workday. For example, an employee, who works four days a week and 10 hours a day, will submit 10 hours of leave when taking off for an entire sick or vacation day.
Compressed Full-Time University Closures and Delays
When delayed-arrival, early-dismissal, or closure is authorized on campus, Compressed Full-Time employees will maintain the same work schedule without a pro-rated reduction in their work hours unless otherwise authorized by their supervisors. For example, if campus closes because of heavy snow accumulation, the employee will maintain their same work schedule unless their supervisor approves otherwise.
The Flexible Schedule is comprised of the following:
- Core hours, during which the employees will work unless authorized by their supervisors; and
- Flexible time bands during which the employees’ arrival and departure times from work may be allowed to vary.
The employees and their supervisors will work out a schedule defining the core hours and the flexible time bands which will be documented in the Alternative Work Schedule and Location Form. The employees will adhere to the agreed schedule. The employees who work a Flexible Schedule will meet the same average work-per-week expectations as other full-time employees (exempt 40-50 hours; nonexempt 40.)
Meetings and Events
The supervisor may require the employees, working a Flexible Schedule, to attend meetings and events or perform duties outside of the schedule. Where employees are nonexempt and the supervisors do not wish to pay overtime or comp time, the supervisors may modify the employees’ schedules so that the employees do not exceed an average of 40 hours per week.
Ad Hoc Schedule
Ad Hoc schedules occur where an employee without a formally signed Alternative Work Arrangement Form, may need a short-term alternative work schedule. Ad Hoc work schedules should not extend beyond five (5) business days. Ad Hoc schedule requests do not require an Alternative Work Arrangement Form. However, prior written supervisor approval is required. The employees should contact their supervisor for approval. The employees will adhere to the requirements and expectations outlined in this procedure. Supervisors are responsible for notifying their supervisors of any employee working an ad hoc schedule. Supervisors and employees will only enter into Ad Hoc schedules on an infrequent basis.
Working remotely means working at a location other than University managed workspaces (e.g., work at home). Given the supervisors’ inability to monitor remote employees and the University’s inability to control the remote work locations, supervisors and employees will carefully manage remote working arrangements. To manage this work arrangement, supervisors and employees will address the considerations described in other documentation outlining the requirements for remote work. Additional consideration is given for working in locations outside of the state of Utah or outside of the United States; such arrangements may not be able to be accommodated.
Procedures to Form an Alternative Work Arrangement
The following sections discuss the procedures to create, review, approve, manage, and discontinue alternative work arrangements. If employees request alternative work arrangements to accommodate disabilities or a medical condition, these employees should be directed to HR to follow policies governing processes for reasonable accommodations.
Step 1: Alternative Work Arrangement Proposal
As of July 1, 2021, supervisors will review each position on campus for remote work eligibility. Alternative work arrangement forms should be submitted only after positions have been reviewed by supervisors, Vice Presidents, Human Resources, and a conversation between the employee and supervisor. Each area of the Alternative Work Arrangement Form should be addressed. An employee who desires to work remotely must clearly address each requirement listed in the Remote Work Arrangement document.
Step 2: Review of Alternative Work Arrangement Proposal
Once supervisors receive sufficiently complete Alternative Work Arrangement Forms, the supervisors will consider whether the alternative work arrangements are appropriate based on position compatibility and employee eligibility, which are discussed in the subsections below. These will also be reviewed by the vice presidents of each area to ensure that the alternative work arrangements align with the overall vision for services provided within the division and at the university.
To determine position compatibility, supervisors in conjunction with next level supervisors, vice presidents, and HR will determine whether employees can effectively accomplish their job functions while working alternative work arrangements. A number of factors may be considered when determining whether a position is compatible with an alternative work schedule. Some of these considerations include whether:
- the positions require the employees to perform daily, hands-on or in-person services for others;
- the positions require the employees to be physically on campus to perform their tasks;
- the positions require the employees to perform their work during certain hours;
- the positions require the employees to handle sensitive materials/specialized equipment not compatible with alternative work arrangement; or
- other people in similar positions have successfully performed their work tasks while in similar alternative work arrangements.
For a list of other considerations, see Alternative Work Questions to Answer - Eligibility.
If a supervisor and HR determine that a position is incompatible with the proposed alternative work arrangement, the supervisor may suggest modifications to the proposal to make the alternative work arrangement compatible. If a supervisor and HR determine the position is incompatible, they will provide notice and a brief rationale for the decision. Ultimately, supervisors will not approve alternative work arrangements when it is determined that the positions are incompatible even when the employees are otherwise eligible.
To determine employee eligibility, supervisors will consider whether the employees have sufficient work history, which shows a high likelihood that the employees will successfully perform their work responsibilities in the proposed alternative work arrangements. Supervisors may consider whether the employees:
- have consistently met or exceeded the expectations of their position;
- are exempt or nonexempt (The requirements of the FLSA as they relate to non-exempt (including hourly) employees must be met);
- have a full understanding of the operations of their department;
- are able to establish priorities and have demonstrated effective time management habits;
- can maintain a safe and ergonomically sound home work area, free from distractions;
- have successfully completed their probationary period;
- have documented performance which is satisfactory or whose performance rating on their last performance evaluation (PREP) is at least satisfactory;
- work effectively with minimal supervision; and
- communicate effectively and respond promptly to emails, hangouts, and telephone calls during assigned work hours.
For a list of considerations, see Alternative Work Questions to Answer - Eligibility. If a supervisor determines that the alternative work arrangements are appropriate based on position compatibility and employee eligibility, the supervisor can sign the Alternative Work Arrangement Form and submit it to Human Resources. If a supervisor determines the employee is ineligible, they will provide notice and a brief rationale for the decision. Additional review is needed for work locations outside of the state of Utah; remote arrangements may not be able to be accommodated on that basis alone.
Ultimately, supervisors will not approve alternative work arrangements when they determine that the employees are ineligible even if the position is otherwise compatible.
Step 3: Human Resources Review
Upon receiving Alternative Work Arrangement Forms, Human Resources will review the form for completeness. If a form is not sufficiently complete, Human Resources will send it back to the submitting supervisor and indicate what needs to be completed. Human Resources may review for the proposed alternative work arrangement for position compatibility and employee eligibility as described above. If Human Resources determines the position is incompatible or the employee is ineligible for the alternative work arrangement, Human Resources will indicate to the supervisor its determination and provide a brief rationale for this determination.
Step 4 (only for remote work): Human Resources
Upon receiving Alternative Work Arrangement Forms, Human Resources will contact the employee and their supervisor. Each employee must complete the Alternate Worksite Safety Checklist--Appendix B. Human Resources may request to review this at their discretion.
Employee’s failure to follow the direction of Human Resources will result in their forfeiture of being able to work the proposed alternative work arrangement.
If the remote work location is not approved by Human Resources, Human Resources will provide notice and a brief rationale for its decision and suggestions about why the remote work location and/or workspace are unacceptable.
If Human Resources approves their remote work location and workspace, the employee may commence their remote work arrangements on the date approved by their supervisor.
Step Five: Manage Alternative Work Arrangement
After the approval of an alternative work arrangement, supervisors will review the adequacy of the work arrangement within the first three months of its commencement. Thereafter, supervisors will review the arrangement by July 1 of each year. This could be included as a component of a self-evaluation or supervisor evaluation during the PREP process or another appropriate time.
The employee, supervisor, or University may end an alternative work arrangement at any time, though supervisors should strive to provide two weeks’ notice. The supervisor or employee may revise an alternative work arrangement at any time. All employee proposed changes are subject to supervisor and HR approval, following the steps as outlined herein.
If a supervisor requires a revision of an Alternative Work Arrangement and Location Form or the employee desires to modify it, it will follow the same process described herein. If a supervisor decides to terminate the alternative work arrangement, the supervisor will provide notice to Human Resources and the employee.