Flexible Work Arrangements

Policy Number: 
V.04.02
Reason for Policy: 

This policy provides guidance related to flexible work arrangements as established between an employee and the university wherein the time or location of work performed is different from the customary schedule or work location. Flexible work arrangements can serve to enhance levels of employee satisfaction, while meeting the needs of the unit.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

This policy applies to officers of administration and classified staff.

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact the Office of Human Resources (HR) at uoelr@uoregon.edu or (541) 346-3159.

Enactment & Revision History: 

Enacted by the university president on January 6, 2020.

Policy: 

When consistent with operational needs and other eligibility considerations (see Flexible Work Arrangements Procedures), the university supports flexible work arrangements as stated in this policy.

Flexible work arrangements are based on the specific needs of the unit—either on an ongoing basis or at a particular time—and the ability of the individual employee to work effectively in a flexible work arrangement. An approved flexible work arrangement does not reduce expectations regarding an employee’s performance, and does not serve as a precedent for a future arrangement within a department or unit. Employee-requested flexible arrangements are a privilege, are revocable, and should not be an expectation of employment.

The university is an organization with work environments that vary widely and require specific staffing to function effectively. Flexible work arrangements are not appropriate for all positions, times of year, or campus settings. Additionally, health, safety, privacy/security, technology concerns and limitations, and other relevant considerations may preclude a flexible work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements that reduce duties or total working hours must follow HR processes and include a reduction in FTE. These types of arrangements may impact benefit eligibility and/or tax obligations.

In some circumstances a flexible work arrangement may help expedite an employee’s return to work from a leave of absence. Employees out on protected leave should not be expected to work, regardless of any flexible work arrangement that may be in place.

Employees with flexible work arrangements remain subject to applicable university policies and procedures, collective bargaining agreements, and federal and state laws.

Types of Flexible Work Arrangements:

Types of flexible work arrangements include:

  1. Flexible Schedule

A flexible schedule refers to an arrangement that permits variations in starting and departure times, but does not alter the total number of hours worked in a work week.

  1. Compressed Work Week

A compressed work week refers to a schedule wherein the total number of hours worked each week are conducted in less than five (5) full workdays. The most common compressed schedule is four 10-hour workdays per week.

  1. Telecommuting

Telecommuting refers to an arrangement that allows an employee to work at home or from another off-site location for a specified number of hours per week.

  1. Reduced Work Week (Part-time)/ Reduced Work Year

A reduced work week or reduced work year is an arrangement that allows an employee to reduce their time commitment to the university on a permanent or temporary basis (e.g. reduction from 1.0 FTE to .75 FTE or a 12-month to 9-month appointment). Consultation with an Employee Labor Relations representative is required to determine feasibility, duration of time, and impact on pay, benefits, and/or taxes, as well as to determine if there are other policies that may apply to the request.

  1. Job Sharing

Job Sharing refers to a form of regular part-time work in which two people share the responsibilities of one regular full-time position. Job responsibilities, tasks, and hours may be split evenly or unevenly between the two individuals. Consultation with an Employee Labor Relations representative is required to determine feasibility, duration of time, and impact on pay and benefits, as well as to determine if there are other policies that may apply to the request.

Conditions of Employment:

Generally, performance expectations do not change as a result of flexible work arrangements. Employees with flexible work arrangements are generally subject to the same criteria and process for performance evaluation as would apply without the flexible work arrangement. HR and individual units, however, may implement practices and provide training specific to flexible work arrangements as long as such practices are consistent with university policies and procedures.

Employees with flexible work arrangements remain subject to applicable university policies and procedures, collective bargaining agreements, and federal and state laws. For example, all non-exempt employees must document (via timesheet, time and attendance system, etc.) actual hours worked and leave used, take required meal and rest periods, and have overtime pre-approved by their supervisor.

Nothing in this policy limits the university’s ability to determine, based on all relevant considerations, an employee may be required to work outside of normal business hours, telecommute, or otherwise alter their work hours or location. When such changes are necessary, the university will implement such changes in accordance with applicable policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.

Modifying Flexible Work Arrangements:

The supervisor, in consultation with their unit and University HR, may modify an employee’s flexible work arrangement, up to and including returning to the unit’s usual and customary working hours and/or location, without an employee’s consent, where such a change is needed to meet operational needs. The reason for the modification should be communicated, in advance, to the employee and appropriate revisions should be made to the Flexible Work Arrangement agreement. A supervisor’s modification of the arrangement, up to and including defaulting back to the unit’s normal working hours and/or location is not considered discipline.

Before modifying or discontinuing a flexible work arrangement that was granted for medical reasons, the department must consult with the ADA Coordinator to ensure that the change does not violate the ADA.

Chapter/Volume: 
  • Volume V: Human Resources
  • Chapter 4: Workplace
Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement