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Flexible Work Arrangements procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 22 March 2018.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Procedure outlines the range of flexible work arrangements available at the University and the processes for requesting and approving these flexibilities.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all staff of the University.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) This Procedure is pursuant to the Flexible Work Arrangements policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(5) Flexible work arrangements can be temporary or permanent and informally agreed or formally documented, depending on the nature of the staff member’s request and what can be reasonably accommodated by the University.

What flexible working arrangements are available

(6) In addition to the flexible work arrangements described in this Procedure, the following are also examples of flexible work arrangements available at the University:

  1. part-time employment;
  2. job share arrangements;
  3. flexible start and finish times;
  4. flexitime; and
  5. making reasonable adjustment for staff with a disability or health condition.

(7) In addition there are a range of flexible leave arrangements in the Leave and Public Holidays procedure available at the University including:

  1. Purchased leave;
  2. Parental leave (including adoption leave);
  3. Leave without pay;
  4. Study leave;
  5. Volunteering leave; and
  6. Domestic and Family Violence leave.

(8) These leave arrangements may be combined to complement the other flexible work arrangements outlined in this Procedure.

Family friendly flexible work arrangements for staff with parental or caring responsibilities

(9) Staff, who are a parent or have responsibility for the care of a child, may request a change in working arrangements to care for the child if the child is under school age, or under 18 years of age and has a disability.

(10) Examples of family friendly working arrangements may include:

  1. changes in hours of work (for example reduction in hours worked, changes to start/finish times);
  2. changes in patterns of work (for example job sharing arrangements);
  3. changes in location of work (for example working from home or another location).

(11) Staff will also be supported by their manager with flexible arrangements to support breastfeeding, including time off to breastfeed and/or flexible meal breaks and work commencement and finishing times. Breastfeeding facilities are available at all campuses.

(12) Where a staff member has a child who has an injury or another non-contagious medical condition, the staff member may request to bring the child to the workplace for a limited period of time. Any approval may be withdrawn at the manager's discretion at any time.

(13) Children of staff are also allowed on campus provided that they are under the direct personal supervision of a parent or guardian at all times, and within the following limits:

  1. children may accompany a parent or guardian into a campus catering facility or the University Library;
  2. children are not to be left in the care of another staff member or person on campus;
  3. children with infectious medical conditions requiring exclusion from childcare or school are not permitted in the workplace at all;
  4. children are not permitted in workshops, laboratories, other spaces with potentially dangerous equipment, special purpose classrooms or onto building sites;
  5. children are not permitted in any other part of the workplace without the approval of the relevant manager.

(14) Clause 13 does not apply to any child who is a current Deakin student.

Teleworking at University, home based or other locations, on an ad hoc or regular basis

(15) Staff may request to work from a different location (telework) other than their usual workplace.

(16) Teleworking is staff initiated, and this Procedure does not apply where a manager requires a staff member to work at different locations in accordance with their position description and duties.

(17) Teleworking can be ad hoc or regular, and can occur at other University campuses, at the staff member’s home or other locations.

(18) Approval and termination of any teleworking arrangement is at the discretion of the staff member’s manager.

(19) Managers are encouraged to support teleworking requests, however, no arrangement should adversely impact the efficiency of their work area. In assessing a teleworking request by a staff member, managers should take into account the nature of the work being performed, the availability of suitable resources for the staff member to perform their duties and ensure that the arrangement benefits both the staff member and the University.

(20) Where a staff member is teleworking they must comply at all times with the terms of their contract of employment, the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017 (EA) and all University policies and procedures.

(21) While teleworking staff must be contactable during their work hours.

Informal local teleworking arrangements

(22) Where a manager approves a staff member to telework on an ad hoc basis at any location, or on a regular basis at any University location, no formal Teleworking Agreement is required.

(23) There is no provision for staff who may wish to work from Deakin Downtown as an alternative to, or substitute for, working at their respective home campus.

Where a Teleworking Agreement is required

(24) A Teleworking Agreement is required where a staff member is seeking to telework for one or more days per week for a period of more than a month and the teleworking will occur at the staff member’s home or another non-University location.

(25) Teleworking arrangements which require a Teleworking Agreement must only be approved by a manager where the:

  1. manager is satisfied that the arrangement will benefit the staff member and the University, taking into account the nature of the work to be performed;
  2. staff member can provide, or access without significant cost or inconvenience to the University, resources, including information communication technology (ICT) equipment to perform their duties;
  3. staff member’s ICT equipment meets the University standards in relation to privacy and security and that costs associated with teleworking will be met by the staff member;
  4. staff member and the manager have included agreed communication protocols including how and when the staff member will be contactable by anyone associated with the performance of their role; and
  5. manager is satisfied that the work location complies with the University’s occupational health and safety requirements. Managers must seek advice from the Health Wellbeing and Safety team in Human Resources Division in relation to this requirement.

(26) If a Teleworking Agreement is approved by the manager, a copy of the Telework Agreement will be provided to the staff member.

(27) Teleworking Agreements must be reviewed by the manager to determine whether the arrangements should continue every three months (or more frequently as determined by the manager).

Staff performance during, and review of, teleworking arrangements

(28) All teleworking arrangements, and the staff member’s achievement of performance objectives whilst teleworking, should be discussed on a regular and ongoing basis as well as part of the staff member’s Deakin Achieve performance and development plan and discussions.

Other flexible work patterns and flexible hours of Professional staff

Flexible ordinary hours span – Professional staff

(29) Professional staff may be employed under a part-year arrangement, in accordance with clause 12 and Schedule F of the EA, on a continuing or fixed-term basis to work one or more periods in a 12 month period. During the periods of the year the staff member is not required to work, they are deemed to be on leave without pay.

(30) Flexible Ordinary Hours arrangements may be approved to meet operational requirements or to accommodate personal circumstances.

(31) To engage a staff member under a Flexible Ordinary Hours arrangement, refer to the Workloads and Hours of Work procedure and the Flexible Employment Arrangements guidelines – Professional Staff.

Part-year employment – Professional staff

(32) Professional staff may be employed under a part-year arrangement, in accordance with clause 12 and Schedule F of the EA, on a continuing or fixed-term basis to work one or more periods in a 12 month period. During the periods of the year the staff member is not required to work, they are deemed to be on leave without pay.

(33) To engage a staff member under a part-year employment arrangement, refer to the Flexible Employment Arrangements guidelines – Professional Staff.

Annualised hours – Professional staff

(34) Professional staff may be employed under an annualised hours arrangement, in accordance with clause 13 and Schedule F of the EA, on a continuing or fixed-term basis for an estimated number of ordinary hours of work to be completed in any one year (or calendar year).

(35) Staff engaged under annualised hours are paid an average time fraction salary in accordance with the EA over the 12 month period based on the estimated hours and organisational needs of the area. The time and manner in which these ordinary hours are scheduled or rostered over the year may vary from week to week.

(36) To engage a staff member under an annualised hours arrangement, refer to the Flexible Employment Arrangements guidelines – Professional Staff.

Pre-retirement: Conversion to part-time hours

(37) The Executive Director, Human Resources may offer a full-time continuing staff member the option of converting to part-time hours, normally at 0.5 time fraction, and for a period of up to three years on a non-renewable fixed-term contract.

(38) Following the acceptance of such an offer, the staff member will determine the work hours and job responsibilities jointly with their manager, ensuring that the arrangement meets the operational needs of the area.

(39) Employer and staff member superannuation contributions will be maintained at the full-time rate based on the staff member's full-time salary, subject to the provisions of the relevant superannuation scheme.

(40) Unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Director, Human Resources this will be considered a transition to retirement arrangement and at the end of the conversion period the staff member's employment with the University will cease.

(41) At the discretion of the relevant member of the Executive, the University may engage the staff member as a casual staff member following cessation of their pre-retirement contract of employment.

Pre-retirement: Conversion to a fixed-term contract

(42) The Executive Director, Human Resources may offer a continuing staff member the option of moving to a non-renewable fixed-term contract of up to three years, subject to the following provisions:

  1. the duties of the fixed-term contract are substantially the same as the duties of the continuing position held by the staff member immediately prior to entering the arrangement;
  2. the staff member will receive a salary loading of 10% for the fixed-term period, which will be superannuable in accordance with the relevant superannuation scheme's regulations.

(43) At the end of the fixed-term contract the staff member's employment with the University will cease.

(44) At the discretion of the relevant member of the Executive, the University may engage the staff member as a casual staff member following cessation of their pre-retirement fixed term contract of employment.

Applying for Flexible Work Arrangements

(45) A staff member seeking a flexible work arrangement must first discuss their proposed flexibility with their manager. Managers and staff should consult the Guidelines for Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements for additional information.

(46) A manager should assess any flexibility requests with an open, transparent and fair approach and with the aim of working towards a mutually beneficial outcome for the individual and the University, taking into account the operational requirements of the individual’s work area.

(47) Each request by a staff member to access a flexible work arrangement will be considered by their manager within a reasonable timeframe.

(48) In considering flexible work arrangement requests, managers should to take into account:

  1. the benefits and needs of the individual and the University in supporting the request for flexibility;
  2. the University’s commitment to increase the participation of women in leadership roles as detailed in the Gender Equity Plan 2017-2020;
  3. the requirements of the staff member’s role, any impact on others in their team or work area and any other stakeholders;
  4. the impact of such an arrangement on the productivity of the staff member;
  5. whether a Teleworking Agreement is required (see clause 24 above).

(49) If a solution is not immediately achievable, where appropriate, the manager should propose a timeframe in the future for when flexible work arrangement options can be revisited.

(50) If a staff member has been employed by the University for more than 12 months and they are making a request for flexible work arrangements and they are:

  1. a parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger;
  2. a carer within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010;
  3. have a disability;
  4. 55 or older;
  5. experiencing violence from a member of their family, or
  6. provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household, who requires care or support because they are experiencing violence from their family
the Fair Work Act 2009 requires the University to respond in writing to the staff member within 21 days. Further information can be found in the Guidelines for Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements.

(51) Managers may seek support and guidance from their HR Adviser, HR Client Partner or their Head of Organisational Unit before providing any final response in relation to a flexible work arrangement request.

(52) Where a manger supports a request for flexible work arrangements, the manager should confirm the flexible work arrangement, including the duration of the arrangement, in writing to the staff member. The manager should also inform their HR Adviser where any agreed flexibility needs to be reflected in DeakinPeople, such as a change to work patterns or time fraction.

(53) If a request for flexibility is not supported by a manager, the staff member may seek review of the decision by the Executive Director, Human Resources. The Executive Director, Human Resources may, in consultation with the staff member and the manager;

  1. reconsider the University’s response to the request;
  2. propose an alternate flexible work arrangement;
  3. confirm the managers decision; or
  4. encourage further exploration of other flexible work arrangements by the manager and staff member.

(54) Flexible work arrangements must be recorded, discussed and reviewed regularly by the manager as part of ongoing and regular conversations, and as part of a staff member’s regular Deakin Achieve performance and development plan discussions.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(55) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. carer: is a person on whom another person is wholly or substantially dependent for ongoing care and attention, or who shares ongoing daily care substantially equally with another person, other than a person who provides that care and attention wholly or substantially on a commercial basis.
  2. child: is a person under the age of 18.
  3. parent: includes a step-parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, lesbian co-mother(s), gay co-father(s) or guardian.
  4. staff member: includes a person who is offered employment by the University, even if that person has not commenced working for the University.
  5. teleworking: as defined in the Flexible Work Arrangements policy.
  6. teleworking agreement: an agreement made between a staff member and manager to undertake regular teleworking at a home base or other non-University location.