Flexible Work Arrangements for University Employees
The University recognizes the importance of providing flexibility for employees to balance work responsibilities with personal obligations and commitments. The Flexible Work Arrangements policy and procedures outline the regulations regarding flexible work arrangements (FWAs). Departments are encouraged to be open to allowing for FWAs with the understanding that this flexibility must still ensure appropriate employee accountability and be compatible with the operational needs of the work unit.
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Flexible Work Arrangements FAQs
What types of FWAs are available to employees?
Available FWAs include flexible work hours (temporary changes to work hours to adjust for specific events), flexible work schedules (regular flexibility or adjustments to work hours such as alternative work hours, flex time, and compressed workweeks), and flexible work locations (teleworking).
Are employees required to disclose sensitive information to a supervisor to receive approval for a flexible work arrangement?
No. Supervisors should not inquire about specifics that may require the employee to disclose personal/sensitive information. Employees with disabilities whose needs would be met through an FWA may first make a request through this policy and are not required to disclose their disability in that process. If an FWA that is sufficient for the employee’s needs cannot be provided, the employee may then pursue an accommodation through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) process by contacting the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC). Employees with disabilities may also choose to begin their request for flexibility by seeking an accommodation through the EOC. With or without FWAs, the University must meet the requirements of the ADA.
Can a performance rating impact a flexible work arrangement?
Yes, performance is a key consideration when seeking approval for or continuing an FWA. Any arrangement may be provided on a conditional or trial basis. For an FWA to be considered and maintained, the employee is expected to meet all performance expectations and conduct requirements of their role and consistently demonstrate the ability to complete tasks and assignments on a timely basis.
How much notice should be given when ending a flexible work arrangement?
Managers may revise or revoke FWAs at any time; however, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) advises managers to provide as much reasonable notice as possible in the event of a revision or revocation of an FWA to permit the employee to make alternate arrangements. A minimum notice of ten (10) business days is required, unless employee conduct or safety issues necessitate otherwise at the discretion of management.
What is the process for requesting and approving flexible work arrangements?
For flexible work schedules or flexible work hours, as defined by the FWA Policy, the unit and/or supervisor has discretion to approve such arrangements as long as they meet the requirements set forth in the FWA Policy and Procedures. Unit leadership and/or supervisors may establish their own protocols for requesting and approving flexible work hours and communicate such to their employees. All regular and recurring flexible work hour arrangements must be documented and maintained by the unit’s local HR Officer. Documentation should include the relevant terms of the arrangement and can be accomplished through an email exchange.
For teleworking requests that will be 30 calendar days or less in duration, within the state of North Carolina and within a reasonable commuting distance to campus, the unit and/or supervisor has discretion to approve such arrangements as long as they meet the requirements set forth in the FWA Policy and Procedures. Units and/or supervisors may establish their own protocols for requesting and approving short-term teleworking arrangements and communicate such to their employees. However, recurring short-term teleworking arrangements (for more than a one- or two-time event) must be documented and maintained by the unit’s HR Officer. Documentation should include the relevant terms of the arrangement and can be accomplished through an email exchange.
Teleworking arrangements exceeding 30 calendar days in duration will be determined by a unit-wide assessment and plan made by the unit’s Dean or Vice Chancellor and approved by the Chancellor or designee, rather than by individual request. Employees with questions about their unit’s long-term teleworking plan should contact their local HR Officer. Employees can find information about their local HR Officer on the school/division HR officer directory on the OHR website. If the unit would like to submit additional employees for approval in the FWA Pilot Group, the HR Officer will need to submit the FWA Location Pilot Group Request form with the change listed.
What is the Flexible Work Arrangement Location Pilot Group?
The University is working with Deans and Vice Chancellors across campus to implement a series of pilot programs to test and assess a hybrid work model among select work units. These Pilot Groups are being driven and proposed by Deans and Vice Chancellors across campus and will largely be “back office” functions that do not require front-facing student or customer contact. These limited exceptions will be driven by business necessities and not individual employee preference, must meet a series of established factors for consideration, and will go through a rigorous review process for approval to become a Pilot Group. Following approval of the pilot exception proposals, these arrangements will be in place from July 19 through December 31, 2021.
Once a position that was approved through the Flexible Work Arrangement Location Pilot Group (July 19 through December 31, 2021) becomes vacant, does the unit need to request that the newly hired person take part in the Pilot Group?
The new employee will be able to work under the existing teleworking arrangement for that position that was approved during the Pilot Group process. However, in order to ensure the arrangement is coded properly within ConnectCarolina, the HR Officer will need to submit their FWA Location Pilot Group Request form with this new employee’s teleworking arrangement listed.
When is a teleworking request form required?
A teleworking request form should be initiated through ConnectCarolina Self-Service if the employee will be working outside of the state of North Carolina, outside of the United States, or outside of a reasonable commuting distance from campus. This request needs to be submitted and approved prior to the employee engaging in any work for the University outside of North Carolina, regardless of the duration of the arrangement.
How is a teleworking request form initiated?
For employees with access to ConnectCarolina, the teleworking request form is found under Self-Service: Click the “HR eForms” button, then click the “Teleworking Request” option. If the individual requesting teleworking approval does not have ConnectCarolina access, a hard copy teleworking request form will be acceptable. Please request a hard copy form from the department’s local HR Representative or HR Officer, and it will be routed through approvals.
What information does an employee need to know if they are working in a state other than North Carolina?
Once the related teleworking request form is approved by the Office of Human Resources (OHR), the employee working remotely outside of North Carolina may be subject to the laws and regulations of other states. All employees working outside of North Carolina are required to have their departments complete the UNC Payroll Services Notice of Employee Working Outside of North Carolina form. The University is required to ensure good faith compliance with such laws and regulations when granting approval for remote work arrangements outside of North Carolina. Employees are individually responsible for addressing and resolving any questions about their ability to take tax deductions or other personal tax affects related to remote work arrangements. The University cannot advise in these matters. For additional information, please contact Payroll Services at email@example.com.
What states/territories have different overtime laws?
The following states/territories currently have different overtime laws: California, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, and Puerto Rico. Employees working remotely outside of North Carolina may be subject to the laws and regulations of other states or countries with respect to the employee/employer relationship. For additional information, please contact Payroll Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What information does an employee need to know if they are working outside of the United States?
Requesting approval to work outside of the United States requires further review and approvals. Please contact the department’s assigned Talent Acquisition Partner (TAP) for more details. Information may also be found at the Global Employment website.
If a teleworking request was previously approved as “ongoing,” is it now subject to the annual review?
If an ongoing teleworking request has been previously granted, going forward the previously approved arrangement would be subject to the required annual review.
Does travel time from the off-site location to the on-site location count as work time?
The Single-Day Travel policy directs that an employee’s work time recording will include any travel/commuting time to campus or other alternate work location that occurs during the employee’s regularly scheduled workday when the work locations differ from the employee’s assigned off-site location for that day. However, employees working in off-site locations may not charge mileage for travel between their off-site work location and their on-site work location.