Policy Redesign Project

All policies and procedures are being reviewed as part of this project. This document is pending review, but remains in effect until the review is carried out.

Flexible Working Hours Procedures

Establishment: Council, 1 October 1986 
Last Amended: Vice-President (Corporate Services), 14 October 2016
Nature of Amendment: Amendment to improve control elements and to restructure into procedures template
Date Last Reviewed:  
Responsible Officer: Director, Human Resources 

1.  Purpose

1.  The University is committed to providing a working environment which is sufficiently flexible to meet the operational requirements of the University and workload demands while accommodating, where possible, the needs of its staff members. These procedures prescribe the limits within which members of the professional staff are able to adjust their commencing and finishing times in order to maintain some flexibility in their working hours.

2.  Scope

2.1  Flexible working hours are available to full-time and fractional-time professional staff members, with the exception of:

  • casual employees;
  • occupants of positions classified at Higher Education Officer Level 9 and above;
  • staff members employed in research grant-funded positions and whose work cycles extend over 28 consecutive days;
  • staff members employed in areas of the University specifically excluded from the operation of these procedures by the Director, People and Culture, where other forms of flexible working arrangements are in place e.g.  rostered days off; and
  • staff employed as Security Officers who work on shift rosters as set out in the prevailing Enterprise Agreement.

2.2  Notwithstanding 2.1., positions classified at Higher Education Officer Level 9 and above may, by agreement between the occupant and their supervisor, and senior officer if appropriate, be granted time off in lieu of additional hours worked.

3.  Definitions

Flexi leave is defined as absence from work under the provisions of these rules.

Flexitime is defined as the time outside of core time but within the span of hours when, with the approval of their supervisor, a staff member can determine when to start or finish work, namely:

  • 8.00 am to 10.00 am
  • 12.00 noon to 2.00 pm
  • 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm

Span of hours is defined as the period of time (Monday to Friday) during which a staff member can be required to work without incurring overtime rates, namely:

  • 6.00 am to 6.00 pm

Standard Hours of Duty for a full-time staff member are defined as 36.75 hours per week between 8.54 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Friday (excluding a lunch break of 45 minutes). Pro-rata standard hours of duty will apply to a part-time staff member.

Core Time is defined as the periods during the day when a staff member is required to be on duty, namely:

  • 10.00 am to 12.00 noon
  • 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

Carry over is defined as the number of debit or credit hours that may be carried over into the next accounting period.

Accounting period is made up of two consecutive pay periods which, for the purpose of recording time worked only, will commence and terminate at 5.00 pm on the last Friday in each accounting period.

Senior Officer means the Head of Faculty/Portfolio or School/Division or similar officer of the University.

Supervisor means the person to whom the staff member is responsible on a daily basis.

Campus means the staff member's usual place of work.

4.  Procedures

4.1  Working Hours

4.1.1  The University is required to maintain a continuous service between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm to meet the needs of staff, students, the public and other organisations with which the University deals. Staff members are normally expected to work their standard hours during these times.

4.1.2  Access to flexible working hours is subject at all times to prior approval by the supervisor and the operational requirements of the University.

4.2  Maximum Weekly Working Hours

4.2.1  A staff member may not accumulate more than an additional 10 hours in any one week, i.e. the maximum number of hours that a staff member may work in a week are 46.75, except when required to work overtime. For a fractional-time staff member, this maximum weekly accumulation will be pro-rata to their appointment fraction.

4.3  Attendance

4.3.1  All staff members are required to be on duty during core time  unless on approved leave.

4.3.2  Planned flexi leave absences must have the prior approval of the staff member's supervisor.

4.3.3  While the University wishes to offer a flexible working environment to its staff, a supervisor may determine, in respect of any staff member in that area, a roster of daily working hours (i.e. a continuous period of 7 hours 21 minutes between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm excluding the lunch period) to enable that area to provide a satisfactory and continuous service to staff, students and the public. A staff member will commence and cease duty in accordance with such a roster. However, such a roster will not preclude a staff member from working additional time, in accordance with these procedures.

4.3.4  There may be occasions when workload is such that a staff member is required by their supervisor to work outside flexitime but within the span of hours (i.e. between 6.00 am - 8.00 am). Where such time does not fall within the overtime provisions, it may be counted towards the staff member's flexitime.

4.4  Meal Breaks

4.4.1  No more than 5 hours may be worked without a meal break.

4.4.2  A minimum period of half an hour must be taken for lunch between the hours of 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm.

4.5  Credit Working Hours

4.5.1  A staff member is not permitted to carry forward more than 10 credit hours into the next accounting period unless previously agreed by the supervisor.

4.5.2  Where a staff member seeks to exceed the maximum carry over of 10 hours into the next accounting period, prior approval must be sought from their supervisor.  Such approval must not be unreasonably withheld.  However, any credit hours in excess of 10 must be reduced as soon as is practicable in accordance with a plan that has been agreed with the supervisor.

4.5.3  Where a staff member exceeds the maximum accumulation without approval, excess hours worked will normally be forfeited. In such cases, the staff member will be advised in writing by the supervisor.

4.5.4  Notwithstanding the above, it is recognised that there will be periods during the year which will necessitate staff carrying over in excess of the maximum 10 hours' credit. In such cases, it is the responsibility of the staff member's supervisor to:

  • authorise and monitor the accumulation of credit hours; and
  • provide for the reduction of any excess within a reasonable time period and in a planned way. This may include permitting the staff member to take more than the prescribed flexi leave provision as set out in clause 4.8 until the excess is reduced.

4.6  Debit Working Hours

4.6.1  A staff member may not carry forward more than 10 debit hours into the next accounting period.

4.6.2  If at the end of an accounting period the debit is greater than 10 working hours, the staff member will be required to take the excess number of hours as leave without pay, unless other arrangements have been approved by the supervisor in consultation with the senior officer. This may include use of annual leave.

4.7  Staff Secondments or Transfers

4.7.1  Flexitime credit or debit hours must be reduced to zero before a staff member is seconded or transferred to another area of work, except where agreed by the new supervisor.

4.8  Flexi Leave

4.8.1  Subject to clause 4.5.4, flexi leave can only be taken in accordance with the conditions set out below.

  • A maximum of two full working days or four half working days or equivalent may be permitted as flexi leave in any accounting period.
  • Flexi leave may, with the approval of the supervisor, be taken on two consecutive working days.
  • Flexi leave may be used to extend a lunch break to 2 hours.
  • In exceptional circumstances, approval may be given by the supervisor for a staff member to take short periods of flexi leave during core time for personal business which cannot be arranged at another time.
  • Access to flexi leave does not remove the need for other types of leave, such as personal or annual leave. Such leave must be formally applied for and approved in the required way.
  • A staff member who becomes ill while on flexi leave may apply for personal leave and reinstatement of flexitime credit. In such circumstances, the personal leave must be applied for in the required way.

4.9  Time Off in Lieu

4.9.1  Time off in lieu of overtime worked in accordance with the University's overtime provisions may be taken with the approval of the supervisor during the standard hours of duty (including core time). Such time off must be recorded.

4.9.2  Staff members who have opted to take time off in lieu of overtime worked may carry over such time into the next accounting period in addition to hours accumulated under normal flexitime conditions. This additional time will be managed in accordance with clause 4.5.4.

4.10  Attendance Records

4.10.1  A staff member is required to accurately record time worked and leave taken including flexi leave. The method of recording time to be used will be at the discretion of the supervisor in consultation with the staff member.

4.10.2  Actual times of commencement and cessation of work, as distinct from the time of arrival at, or departure from, the normal place of work, must be recorded.  Unless the person is absent, entries to the attendance record should be made daily. 

4.10.3  At the end of each four (4) weekly period (or fortnightly if required by the supervisor), the staff member must:

  • ensure that any flexi-leave or other forms of leave taken have been accurately recorded in the required way;
  • sign and date the attendance record; and;
  • submit the completed attendance record to the supervisor for approval.

4.10.4  Supervisors must sign the staff member's attendance record and ensure that:

  • attendance, flexi leave and carry overs are in accordance with the requirements of these rules;
  • any other leave taken has been formally recorded and approved; and
  • flexi-time records are retained in a secure, confidential manner in the work area in accordance with State Records Act requirements (usually 7 years).

4.11  Termination of Employment

4.11.1  On termination of employment e.g. resignation, retirement, no payment will be made for any credit time remaining. It is expected that any credit time will be taken before the last day of duty.

4.11.2  Debit time remaining at the time of cessation of duty will be deducted from salary due on termination of service.

4.12  Grievances and Misuse of Flexitime

4.12.1  Any problem encountered by a staff member concerning the operation of these procedures should, in the first instance, be discussed with the supervisor concerned who will, wherever possible, resolve such problems. Where necessary and where an interpretation of the procedures is required, the matter should be forwarded, through the senior officer concerned, to the Director, People and Culture who will interpret the procedures and their practical application.

4.12.2  Where a staff member does not adhere to these procedures, the Director, People and Culture may, after consultation with the senior officer concerned, take such action as is deemed necessary to ensure that there is no further breach of the procedures. This may include denying the staff member further access to flexible working hours.

4.12.3  A staff member who is dissatisfied with the application of these procedures may lodge a grievance in accordance with the University's Grievance Policy.