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Attendance and Working Hours Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines principles relating to the attendance, hours of work and any individual flexibility arrangements of staff members. Through the variable working hours scheme and the ability to request for an individual flexibility arrangement, the University seeks to strike a balance between supporting staff members’ needs in flexible hours and the operational needs of the organisational unit.

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Section 2 - Application

(2) This Policy applies to all staff of the University (excluding casual professional and sessional academic staff unless otherwise stated).

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Section 3 - Roles and Responsibilities

Position Responsibility
Staff member
Perform assigned duties.
Submit attendance records if applicable.
Discuss with Supervisor any variable working hours scheme.
If applicable, request for an individual flexibility arrangement.
If applicable, review and approve staff members' attendance records.
Discuss with staff member any variable working hours scheme.
If applicable, consider a staff member's request for an individual flexibility arrangement.
Head of Organisational Unit
Administer the variable working hours scheme.
Determines the final outcome of an application for variable working hours and individual flexibility arrangement.
Arrange staffing to ensure the area will operate efficiently.
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Section 4 - Academic Staff

(3) Academic staff below the level of Head of School work under the direction of their Head of School and have an overall responsibility to perform assigned duties in the interests of maintaining the efficient operation of the University. The duties and workload of an academic staff member are determined by the Head of School following consultation with the staff member. The provisions relating to availability of academic staff and workload allocation are outlined in clauses 37 and 38 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff).

(4) Duties and attendance requirements for sessional academic staff are detailed in the Selection and Appointment Policy and in Schedule 5 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff).

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Section 5 - Senior Staff

(5) There are no specific hours of duty for senior staff (SSGA - SSGE). Attendance is required to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity in the particular work area.

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Section 6 - Professional Staff

(6) The provisions relating to hours and patterns of work for professional staff, including span of hours, work cycle, overtime, breaks, penalty rates and individual flexibility arrangements are contained in the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff).

(7) Staff are required to work within the span of hours in accordance with the category in which they are employed (clause 27 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff)), except where an individual flexibility arrangement is introduced.

(8) Policy relating to individual flexibility arrangements is detailed in Section 8 below.

Attendance Records

(9) All professional staff classified at HEW Levels 1-7 (inclusive) must complete attendance records. Attendance records must be submitted to and approved by the staff member’s Supervisor at the end of each two week cycle.

(10) Supervisors may require staff above HEW Level 7 who have an individual flexibility arrangement in place to complete attendance records.

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Section 7 - Variable Working Hours Scheme for Professional Staff

(11) The variable working hours scheme allows Supervisors and staff to negotiate a flexible working pattern within the existing span of hours. Regular flexible working patterns outside of a staff member's normal span of hours may be agreed in accordance with provisions in section 8 below (Individual Flexibility arrangement for Professional Staff). Implementation of the scheme must ensure that the staffing requirements of the organisational area are met, while allowing for some flexibility to staff working patterns.

(12) Under the variable working hours scheme, staff may take scheduled full or part days off work provided they work the total fortnightly number of ordinary hours between the span of hours prescribed in clause 27.1 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff).

(13) Negotiation between staff and Supervisors should be undertaken to facilitate the development of individual staff work patterns. All professional staff at QUT may participate in the variable working hours scheme, subject to the following conditions:

  1. administration of the scheme shall be the responsibility of heads of organisational units;
  2. Heads of Organisational Units have the right to refuse a staff member's participation in the scheme where it can be demonstrated that there would be an impediment to the efficient operation of the organisational unit should participation in the scheme be permitted;
  3. Heads of Organisational Units must provide to the relevant staff member(s) a written explanation for refusing their participation in the scheme. Similarly, heads of organisational units will inform their own Supervisors why staff within their area have been refused access to the variable working hours scheme; and
  4. staff are required to work their total prescribed hours per two-week cycle.

(14) The following general requirements are also applicable:

  1. all scheduled time off is taken as standard working hours;
  2. Heads of Organisational Units shall arrange staffing to ensure the area will operate efficiently throughout normal working hours each day. This staffing must be arranged from existing staff resources;
  3. scheduled time off must be arranged in advance by mutual agreement with the Supervisor. Carryover of debits or credits of hours into the subsequent pay period is not permitted except in exceptional circumstances. Authority for approval rests with the relevant head of organisational unit, who must sign the attendance records accordingly;
  4. grievances arising from this scheme will be dealt with in accordance with the University's procedures for grievance resolution (Compliance Policy); and

(15) Provisions regarding rest pauses, meal breaks and overtime prescribed in the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) apply.

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Section 8 - Individual Flexibility arrangement for Professional Staff

(16) A staff member could request, and the Supervisor may agree to make an individual flexibility arrangement to vary the staff member's span of hours working arrangement, in response to the need of the staff member.

(17) The Supervisor of the organisational unit will consider the request to determine whether it is agreed by the University.

(18) Where a staff member is approved to vary their span of hours under an individual flexibility arrangement:

  1. the 115% penalty applicable to certain categories of staff (clause 27.2 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) will not apply; and
  2. they will be eligible for overtime when required to work outside their varied span of hours in accordance with their individual flexibility arrangement; or more than ten (10) ordinary hours in any one day; or more than 72.5 ordinary hours in the two (2) week cycle.

(19) The following provisions apply to the making, varying or termination of an individual flexibility arrangement:

  1. Any variation to the existing span of hours of work will still require a regular pattern of work over the two (2) week cycle.
  2. Where a staff member wishes to vary their working hours they should discuss the proposed variation with their Supervisor who must also consider all other staff who may be affected by the proposed variation.
  3. All reasonable requests by the staff member for additional flexibility or for changes to the staff members arrangement should be given reasonable consideration.
  4. Issues to be considered when varying existing hours arrangements include, but are not limited to:
    1. family responsibilities;
    2. safety and travelling requirements;
    3. the operational requirements of the organisational unit; and
    4. the impact on other staff who may be affected by the variation.
  5. Where agreement on a variation to hours is reached, this will be recorded in writing by the Supervisor and the relevant staff member. The staff member will be provided with a copy of the agreement.
  6. An individual flexibility arrangement may be:
    1. varied by mutual agreement; and
    2. terminated by the Supervisor or staff member:
      1. by written agreement at any time; or
      2. by giving 28 days written notice to the other party of the arrangement.
  7. If a staff member or Supervisor is unable to comply with a proposed variation, the matter should be discussed fully between the staff member and Supervisor. The staff member or Supervisor may be supported by a person of their choosing, including where the staff member requests a staff representative(s). A representative is a person chosen by the affected staff member(s) to assist or represent them. At the choice of the staff member this person may be a union officer or official.
  8. Any disputes arising out of the implementation of this policy may be referred by either the staff member or the Supervisor under the Complaints Framework for Staff Policy.

(20) Further details are contained in clause 42 of the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff).

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Section 9 - Exceptions to Policy

(21) The Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer is authorised to approve variations to this policy in exceptional circumstances. Any such variation will be recorded by Human Resources.