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Flexible work arrangements

In seeking a balance between the interests of USQ and individual employees, the University of Southern Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014-2017 and the Human Resources Policy and Procedures contain a variety of flexible working options.

Applying for flexible work arrangements

An employee has a legislative right to request flexible work arrangements if they:

  • are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger
  • are a carer (within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010
  • are a parent returning to work after taking leave in relation to the birth or adoption of a child
  • are 55 years or older
  • have a disability
  • are experiencing violence from a member of their family
  • 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.

These arrangements are subject to the operational needs of the workplace and the mutual agreement between the employee, the supervisor and/relevant delegate, and may be refused on reasonable business grounds.

The University also supports employees who request flexible working arrangements to meet their individual needs which may include but is not limited to:

  • undertaking study
  • for sporting career/interest
  • better work/life balance
  • transitioning to retirement
  • for personal health issues
  • to participate in voluntary work

Employees are to use the Variation of Work Arrangements Request form to apply for these arrangements.

Types of flexible work arrangements and options 

The Flexible Work Arrangements Procedure outlines the various options and arrangements available to employees. You may also be interested in the more detailed information about the features and benefits of the various options which include the following:

Fractional employment

Fractional employment enables employees to reduce their working hours in order to fulfil other responsibilities or interests. An employee may be engaged for a fraction of full-time employment (sometimes referred to as part-time employment).

Sessional employment

Employees in the Residential Colleges and Printery may be employed on a sessional basis.  Sessional employees are engaged for a minimum of 32 weeks per year and for a minimum of 18 hours per week normally to accommodate workflow "peaks or troughs".  Sessional employees receive a 10% loading on the equivalent hourly rate for full-time employees for hours worked in the fortnight.  A sessional employee will receive the entitlements of a full-time employee on a proportional basis determined by the hours worked within the year.

Term employment

Term employees are engaged on a continuing basis for a minimum of 26 weeks in a calendar year and works for a minimum of 15 hours per week.  Term employees are advised at the beginning of each calendar year as to which weeks they are required to work.  Term employees are paid fortnightly at a proportional rate to a full-time employee for the hours worked in the fortnight.

Annualised hours employment

Annualised hours employees may be engaged on a continuing or fixed term basis for an agreed number of nominated hours within a 12 month period to meet work unit requirements.  The total number of nominated hours (including the annual leave component) is averaged to a fortnightly salary.

48/52 weeks per year working arrangements

A full-time employee can apply to take up to eight weeks annual leave in a year and receive 48 weeks salary, which would be payable over the full 52 weeks.  This will be subject to agreement between the supervisor and the employee, and based on the needs of the work area.

Job sharing

Job sharing involves dividing one position among two or more people.  It is a voluntary arrangement between the staff involved and the cost centre manager and allows people to work less than full time, whilst ensuring that all the duties of the job are completed.  Job sharing can also bring skills and experience and improved flexibility to a workplace as there are two people in a job instead of one.

Flexible working hours

Within the needs of the work area, flexible working hours provide staff flexibility in hours of work.  Ordinary hours of work for professional employees at USQ is 36 hours per week. These hours may be worked on any consecutive days in the week, Monday to Sunday inclusive, between 6.00am and 10.00pm.  The ordinary hours of work will not exceed 10 hours on any one day, and the number of days worked in a seven day cycle will not normally exceed five.

Rostered Day Off (RDO) arrangements

Rostered Day Off (RDO) arrangements may be organised by mutual agreement between individual employees and their manager and vary across the University.  Options available to staff in any particular work area will be influenced by the nature of the work and the contact with clients and staff.  In some areas, staff may work a nine day fortnight or a 19 day month arrangement by working additional time each week to accrue this RDO.

Working from another location

The University recognises that working from another location may be an effective option in some circumstances for a staff member and for the work area.  The Working from Another Location Procedure enables employees to work from another location if there is mutual agreement between the University, the employee and an appropriate Category 3 Delegate.

End of year closure

During closure of the University between 25 December and 1 January End of Year Closure Arrangements will be managed in accordance with the Leave of Absence Procedure.

Workplace Adjustments

Employees may request workplace adjustments that will facilitate their ability to perform their work tasks, improve their work environment and manage any person impacts on their work environment. The supervisor of the work area and the University will determine whether the particular adjustment is reasonable and does not cause major difficulties or unreasonable costs to a person or the University. Employees with a disability are encouraged to speak with their supervisor to access the assistance and support available to them.

Refocusing of Activities - Research or Teaching Specialisation and Scholarship Appointments

Enables Academic employees to convert to research or teaching specialisation and scholarship duties which provides the opportunity to focus on an area of expertise or interest, allowing the area to both accommodate the employee and retain corporate knowledge.

Pre-retirement fixed term appointments

Where a full-time or fractional employee declares an intention to retire, the employee may seek to enter into a pre-retirement fixed term appointment for a period of up to five years.

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