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Flexible Work Arrangements procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure is effective from 11 November 2019.

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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. For staff employed on Senior Staff Performance Contracts, this Procedure applies subject to clause 19 of the Deakin University Enterprise Agreement 2017 (EA).

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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 and agreed to by the University.

Flexible work arrangements for staff with parental or caring responsibilities

(6) Where a staff member has caring responsibilities for:

  1. a child under school age or under 18 years of age and has a disability; or
  2. a parent 
the staff member may request a change in working arrangements to enable them to care for the child or parent.

(7) 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 Deakin location);
  4. a combination of some or all of the above.

(8) The University is an accredited breastfeeding friendly workplace. Staff will 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.

(9) 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 Any approval may be withdrawn at the manager's discretion at any time.

(10) 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;
  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.

(11) Clause 10 does not apply to any child who is a current Deakin student.

Working at other locations on an ad hoc or regular basis

(12) The University provides access to information and communication technology to enable staff to stay connected whether they are working at another University campus, from home or anywhere else.

(13) Managers may require a staff member to work at different locations in accordance with their position description and duties. In addition, staff may request to work from a different location than their usual workplace. This Procedure only applies where working at another location is staff initiated.

(14) A staff member can request to work from a different location on an ad hoc or regular basis, and at other University campuses, at the staff member’s home or other locations.

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

(16) Approval of any such arrangement is at the discretion of the staff member’s manager.

(17) Managers are encouraged to support staff working at other locations, however, no arrangement should adversely impact the efficiency of their work area. In assessing a 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.

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

Where an Agreement is required

(19) An Agreement is required where a staff member is seeking to work for one or more days per week for more than a month from the staff member’s home or another non-University location.

(20) Arrangements which require an 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 the arrangement 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.

(21) If an Agreement is approved by the manager, the Agreement will be provided to the staff member and included in the staff member’s DeakinAchieve Plan.

(22) 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).

Flexible work patterns and flexible hours of Professional staff

Flexible ordinary hours span – Professional staff

(23) Professional staff may be employed under a part-year arrangement, in accordance with clause 12 and Schedule F of the Enterprise Agreement (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.

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

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

Part-year employment – Professional staff

(26) Professional staff may be employed under a part-year arrangement, in accordance with clause 12 and Schedule F of the Enterprise Agreement (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.

(27) To engage a staff member under a part-year employment arrangement, refer to the Flexible Work Arrangements guidelines.

Annualised hours – Professional staff

(28) Professional staff may be employed under an annualised hours arrangement, in accordance with clause 13 and Schedule F of the Enterprise Agreement (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).

(29) Staff engaged under annualised hours are paid an average time fraction salary in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement (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.

(30) To engage a staff member under an annualised hours arrangement, refer to the Flexible Work Arrangements guidelines.

Pre-retirement conversion contracts

(31) Pre-retirement conversion contracts can provide flexibility and financial benefits to eligible staff transitioning to retirement and enable areas to effectively manage their workforce.

(32) The Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee may offer eligible staff members one of the following pre-retirement contracts:

  1. For a full-time continuing staff member the option of converting to part-time hours:
    1. This will normally be at 0.5 fraction, for a period of up to three years on a non-renewable fixed-term contract
    2. For the duration of the fixed-term contract, 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; or
  2. For a full time or part time continuing staff member the option of moving to a non-renewable fixed term contract, for a period of up to three years, subject to:
    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.

(33) A pre-retirement contract will only be offered to an eligible staff member by the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee where they consider it to be mutually beneficial for the University and the staff member taking into account:

  1. the criticality of the staff member’s position to the University;
  2. whether the staff member’s position requires skills and knowledge that are not held by other staff across the University; and
  3. whether there are other current staff who have the same or similar duties and responsibilities as the staff member.

(34) Where a manager is considering a pre-retirement contract as part of managing their workforce they must first discuss this with their HR Partner.

(35) Following these discussions, the manager must submit a business case addressing clauses 32 and 33 to their HR Partner who will provide this request to the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee for consideration and determination.

(36) The Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee will determine the duration of any offer of a fixed-term contract based on the University’s anticipated length of time it will take to:

  1. recruit a candidate to the position; and
  2. transition the skills and knowledge to a new staff member or other staff members in the University.

(37) Where a staff member accepts  an offer of a pre-retirement conversion, the manager and the staff member will determine the work hours and job responsibilities, ensuring that the arrangement meets the operational needs of the area.

(38) Unless otherwise agreed by the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee this pre-retirement contract will be considered a transition to retirement arrangement and at the end of the fixed-term contract the staff member's employment with the University will cease.

(39) 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.

Applying for Flexible Work Arrangements

(40) A staff member seeking one or more flexible work arrangements must first discuss their proposed flexibility with their manager. Managers and staff should consult the Guidelines for Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements for additional information.

(41) 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 staff member and the University, taking into account the operational requirements of the staff member’s work area.

(42) Any request by a staff member for any flexible work arrangement will be considered by their manager within a reasonable timeframe.

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

  1. the benefits and needs of the staff member 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 an Agreement is required (see clause 22 above)
  6. whether the approval of the Executive Director, Human Resources is required (see clauses 35-40).

(44) 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.

(45) 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 University will respond in writing to the staff member within 21 days. Further information can be found in the Guidelines for Supporting Flexible Work Arrangements.

(46) Managers may seek support and guidance from their HR Adviser, HR Partner or their Head of Organisational Unit in considering a flexible work arrangement request.

(47) Where a manager supports a request for flexible work arrangements (other than a pre-retirement contract which requires the approval of the Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee), 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.

(48) 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 or nominee. The Executive Director, Human Resources or nominee 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 manager’s decision; or
  4. encourage further exploration of other flexible work arrangements by the manager and staff member.

(49) 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

(50) 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.