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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: HUMAN RESOURCES INDEX: C-24

SUBJECT: ALTERNATIVE WORK SCHEDULE

POLICY

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) realizes its employees are its most important resource. In recognition of this, the university offers an Alternative Work Scheduling Program (Program) to benefits eligible staff.

Benefits to the Employee:

  • Flexibility to meet family needs, personal obligations or other responsibilities
  • An increased feeling of personal control over schedule and work environment
  • Ability to work at times when the employee can accomplish most, feel freshest or enjoys working (e.g. “a morning person”)
  • Can reduce childcare hours and costs for those with young children
  • Reduces job burnout
  • Can shorten commuting time and lower fuel costs

Benefits to the University:

  • Increased employee morale, engagement and commitment to the job
  • Reduced absenteeism and tardiness
  • Recruiting incentive
  • Reduces turnover of valued staff
  • Can extend hours of operation for departments and customer service hours
  • Develops image as an employer of choice offering flexible work schedules

Alternative Work Schedules must be implemented in a manner that ensures that services to students, the public, and other university departments are not negatively affected.

Not all positions can be adapted to alternative work scheduling and participation is voluntary. As operational needs change, the department head has authority to adjust work schedules accordingly. Flexible working hours require mutual responsibility and trust between employee and employer.

Employees must be responsible for adhering to their work schedules; flexible when those hours require adjustments and accommodative to management when co-worker duties need to be covered. Similarly, directors, managers, and supervisors are encouraged to be flexible, reasonable and consistent in accommodating alternative work schedule requests.

DEFINITIONS

Flextime - Alternative work schedule option that permits flexibility in arrival and departure times within limits set by management. University flextime procedures allow five 8-hour days (40 hours) be worked in a single work week at hours other than typical “eight to five” scheduling.

Compressed Work Week – Alternative work schedule option enabling employees to work 40 hours in fewer than five days a week.

Hours of Operation - State law as cited within Texas Government Code, Title 6, Chapter 658, defines normal hours of operation for state agencies, including institutions of higher education, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

PROCEDURES

OVERVIEW

All requests for participation in an alternative work schedule will be made through the use of the approval process set forth in this policy. Eligible employees must complete an "Employee Alternative Work Request Form" to request Flextime and/or Compressed Work Week scheduling.

After the request form (Attachment A, References) is completed, the employee will sign and forward the request to the immediate supervisor who will recommend approval or disapproval and forward on to the Cabinet-level supervisor. The Cabinet-level supervisor will then approve or disapprove the request and forward the original request to the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action for final review. Upon review, the original will be placed in the employee's personnel file, and a copy will be forwarded to the supervisor and the employee. If disapproved, the form will be returned by Human Resources to the supervisor.

The Alternative Work Scheduling program includes Flextime and Compressed Work Week options. The Flextime program does not reduce the number of days the employee is required to work, but as the name implies, allows for flexibility in arrival and departure times from the standard 8:00-5:00, 5 day schedule.

These procedures cannot anticipate every situation that may arise under an alternative work schedule. It is the responsibility of each director, manager, and supervisor to make fair, consistent and objective decisions when faced with circumstances that are not specifically addressed in these policies and procedures.

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

The Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action is responsible for monitoring the program and serving as the program resource person and will serve as the mediator of complaints/disputes regarding the program. An employee who has a dispute should first attempt to resolve it through the chain of command. If this fails, the employee may contact the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action, who will work with the supervisor or department head and employee by attempting to facilitate a resolution to the complaint.

SUPERVISOR’S ROLE

Once an Alternative Work Schedule program is established within a department, supervisors will be responsible for monitoring the quality and timely completion of work within their areas of responsibility to ensure department and university objectives are accomplished.

To ensure essential services are provided within a department's work hours, supervisors may restrict an employee's choice of arrival and departure times. However, when an employee is excluded, the supervisor should be prepared to show that the employee's participation in the program would impede efficient operation of the department. Supervisors should strive to accommodate employee participation in the program. No employee should be automatically excluded except for disciplinary reasons.

WORK SCHEDULES/HOURS

Directors, managers, supervisors, and employees will be responsible for establishing division Flextime and Compressed Work Week schedules. Before implementation, the employee’s proposed work schedule must be approved by the Cabinet-level supervisor. Departments should ensure that the work schedules established meet the needs of students, the public and other university departments. Employees using Flextime are required to work a set schedule. However, with advance approval from the supervisor, an employee may modify his/her work schedule within a specific week.

An employee may not work more than ten hours in any day.

Arrival time must be between 7 am to 10 am; Departure Time must between 3:30 pm to 7 pm (any arrival\departure time outside of this time frame must have a qualifying statement on the Employee Request for Alternative Work Schedule form, under the Comments section).

PARTICIPATION/EXCLUSIONS

All participation is voluntary. Employees who wish to participate must complete Attachment A, Employee Alternative Request Form (References section). Employees who wish to work a regular 8-hour day may continue to do so and no action on their part is needed.

LEAVE POLICIES

Leave policies will be administered in accordance with UHV policy C-1, Leaves of Absence.

LUNCH BREAKS

Employees who choose to participate in a Flextime, Compressed Work Week or Alternative Work Schedule have an option of requesting 30 or 60 minute lunch breaks. Lunch breaks must be taken when working more than five hours daily.

TARDINESS OR OTHER UNEXCUSED ABSENCES

If an employee is participating in Flextime and arrives later than the normally scheduled arrival time, that employee should make up this time outside of the regularly scheduled lunch period or use some type of leave to record the absence. This policy is not meant to condone tardiness and employees are accountable for the amount of time they are late.

Employees will not be restricted to an 8-hour day. The department may permit occasional adjustments to work schedules within the work week as long as 40 hours are worked within that week. Adjusted hours may not be carried over into another work week. This practice ensures that the adjusted hours do not fall into the category of overtime or compensatory time earned.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Each employee, upon entering an Alternative Work Schedule program, will acknowledge in writing that they understand the responsibilities involved.

STANDARDS AND ETHICS

For the program to be successful, certain principles must be understood by both management and employees. By choosing to implement this program, UHV is placing a high level of trust in its employees. Flexible working hours demand a mutual sense of responsibility and trust between the employee and the institution. This mutual trust and responsibility can be jeopardized if employees abuse work or leave hours. Taking advantage of the system jeopardizes alternative work schedule privileges for all employees. Employee behavior that is not conducive to trust, cooperation, and communication will not be tolerated. Abuse of any program privilege may result in restricting an employee's starting and stopping times, discontinuing the schedule entirely for a particular employee, and/or appropriate disciplinary action.

SUSPENSION OF OPTIONS

An employee's participation in the option can be cancelled or temporarily suspended at any time due to operational needs. If possible, employees will be alerted in advance if this becomes necessary. Certain conditions may require a return to a five-day work week on a departmental or University-wide level. These could include: departmental training, travel, cyclical work scheduling such as registration, holidays and institutional emergencies. Cabinet-level supervisors will determine if a return to a five-day work week is temporarily necessary within their respective departments.

DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT

Each department should select a person to serve as a Human Resources point of contact to the program. The department contact should be responsible for:

  1. Tracking the number of employees participating;
  2. Maintaining employees’ work schedules; and
  3. Maintaining department files for requests.

WORK ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM OPTIONS

I. FLEXTIME (Flexible Hours)
Employees who use Flextime will be required to work a set schedule. In extenuating circumstances, an employee may request permission to modify work hours within a specific week with management approval.

Example of a Flextime Work Schedule - Exempt and Non-exempt employees

Total Work Hours:Five 8-hour days/40 hours per work week
Work Days:Monday through Friday
Arrival Time:7:00/10:00 a.m. (Flexible start time)
Departure Time:3:30/7:00 p.m. (Flexible end time)
Lunch:Choice of 30 or 60-minute lunch

II. COMPRESSED WORK WEEK
Employees who participate in the Compressed Work Week program will be required to work a set schedule. In extenuating circumstances, they may request permission to modify their work hours within a specific week with management's approval.

Compressed Work Week Holiday Adjustment

Holidays
Employees are required to work a 40-hour week. If a holiday falls on a day an employee is not scheduled to work, and the employee does not work, then that employee must take eight consecutive hours off within the same workweek (Wednesday through Tuesday). This provision is solely for holidays which fall on Monday through Friday.

Employees will not be allowed to earn compensatory time for holidays on which they do not work. However, if an employee is required to work on a holiday, that employee can receive a maximum of eight compensatory hours.

Adherence to the holiday calculation formula listed below for employees on a Compressed Work Week schedule is required in order to ensure all employees complete a 40-hour workweek.

There may be instances when, because of a holiday schedule, the Flextime formula causes the employee to earn more than 40 hours in a work week. This employee must adjust the work schedule for that week to ensure that he/she does not work more than the required 40 hours. Employees have the option of using annual, overtime, or compensatory leave time in conjunction with this earned credit to equal an entire day off.

Leave Policies
When an employee takes vacation or sick leave for an entire workday, the employee will have either eight, nine, or ten hours charged to the appropriate leave balance, depending upon the day of the Compressed Work Week schedule they are on.

Example of (4/10/40) Compressed Work Week - Exempt or Non-exempt employees (refer to Attachment A, References)

Total Work Hours:Four 10-hour days/40 hour workweek (4/10/40)
Work Days:Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Day Off:Wednesday
Arrival Time:7:00/9:00 a.m. (Flexible start time)
Departure Time:5:30/8:00 p.m. (Flexible end time, depending on lunch length)
Lunch:Choice of 30 or 60-minute lunch (a lunch break is required)

Holiday Policy and Examples
When a non-exempt employee works on a holiday that the University is required to be open (skeleton crew day), the employee will receive eight hours of compensatory time. However, in order to meet the required number of work hours for the week, the employee may need to work a regular schedule on the holiday.

4/10/40 Holiday Example #1
An employee works a Compressed Work Week schedule of Monday through Thursday, ten hours a day. A state holiday (skeleton crew day) falls on Monday and the employee works the regular ten hours. The employee will receive eight hours compensatory time for working this day. The other two hours will go toward the required forty hours per workweek. Therefore, the employee will have earned eight hours compensatory time and completed thirty-two hours of work time.

4/10/40 Holiday Example #2
An employee works a Compressed Work Week schedule of Monday through Thursday, ten hours a day. A state holiday (skeleton crew day) falls on Thursday and the employee decides to observe the holiday. Eight holiday hours will be received, and because the employee will have only worked thirty hours this week, the employee will be required to use two hours of leave time to complete the required forty hours.

4/10/40 Holiday Example #3
An employee works a Compressed Work Week schedule of Tuesday through Friday, ten hours a day. A state holiday (skeleton crew day) falls on Monday and the employee observes the holiday. The employee receives eight holiday hours. Therefore, the employee is only required to work 32 hours on Tuesday through Friday to complete the required 40 hours. The employee can choose to work ten-hour days on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and work two hours on Friday or the employee could choose to take two hours of annual leave on Tuesday (to be off all day), and work ten-hour days on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The day the employee chooses to take the holiday must be within the same week as the holiday and be approved by the immediate supervisor.

4/10/40 Holiday Example #4
An employee works Tuesday through Friday. Friday is a national holiday and UHV is closed. This employee works on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, for a total of thirty hours. Therefore, for Friday, the employee receives eight holiday hours and should have two hours debited from either annual, overtime, or compensatory leave to complete the required 40 hours. (Note: This employee has the option of adjusting the work schedule in advance in lieu of having a leave balance charged.)

Example of Compressed Work Week (Attachment A) (9/8/80) - Exempt employee only

Total Work Hours: Eight 9-hour days plus one 8-hour day/80 hours (9/8/80) worked over a consecutive two-week period with one 8-hour day off every two-week period.

Work Days:1st week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9-hour days
2nd week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 9-hour days, Thursday: 8-hour day
Day Off:Friday of second week
Arrival Time:7:00 a.m. (9-hour days)
Departure Time:4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. (depending on lunch length)
Arrival Time:7:00 a.m. (8-hour days)
Departure Time:3:30 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. (depending on lunch length)
Lunch:Choice of 30 or 60-minute lunch (a lunch break is required)

9/8/90 Holiday Example #1

Week One:Monday through Friday, 9-hour days (45 hours total)
Week Two:Monday through Wednesday, 9-hour days; Thursday, eight hours (35 hours total).
SITUATION:A national holiday falls on Friday, the employee's day off.
Employee will receive eight hours credit for the holiday. Therefore, an employee on this schedule is only required to work seventy-two hours during the two-week period to complete the required eighty hours. The employee may choose to work, with the supervisor's approval, five 9-hour days during Week One and work three 9-hour days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) during Week Two. Therefore, the employee can be off on Thursday and Friday of Week Two.
SOLUTION: 
Week One:Monday through Friday - work 9-hour days
Week Two:Monday through Wednesday - work 9-hour days
Thursday-off; Friday - National holiday-off

Example of Alternate Compressed Work - Exempt employee only

Total Work Hours:Four 9-hour days, five 8-hour days plus one 4-hour day over a consecutive two-week period with one 4-hour day off every two-week period
Work Days:1st week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday--9 hour days; Friday--8 hour day
2nd week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday--8 hour days; Friday--4 hour day
Day Off:Friday of second week - 4 hours
Arrival Time:8:00 a.m. (9-hour days)
Departure Time:5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. (depending on lunch length)
Arrival Time:8:00 a.m. (8 hour days)
Departure Time:4:30 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. (depending on lunch length)
Lunch:Choice of 30 or 60-minute lunch REFERENCE

Attachment A – Alternative Work Schedule Form
UHV policy C-1, Leaves of Absence
UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.A.20, Hours of Work
Texas Government Code, Title 6, Chapter 658, Hours of Labor

Approved by:

Signature Obtained           08/31/12

Philip Castille, Ph.D.          Date
President

Originating department: Human Resources
Next Review Date: September 2015

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