Manual of Policies and Procedures

B/7.7 Hybrid work

Policy Owner

Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer

Approval Date

05/10/2022

Approval Authority

Vice-Chancellor and President

Date of Next Review

01/10/2023

7.7.1 Purpose
7.7.2 Application
7.7.3 Roles and responsibilities
7.7.4 Policy statement
7.7.5 Ensuring appropriate workstation set up
7.7.6 Reviewing a decision
7.7.7 Variation to policy
7.7.8 Definitions
Related Documents
Modification History

7.7.1 Purpose

QUT is committed to enabling work conditions that support staff to adapt their ways of working, as we embrace the opportunities created by a more virtual and connected world.

Reconceptualising the work environment and the available ways of working, also provides opportunity to adopt flexible approaches for the use of space at QUT and creating improved work and learning environments.

The purpose of this policy is to outline hybrid work at QUT and provide a framework that enables decision-making at a local level.

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7.7.2 Application

This policy applies to QUT professional staff members covered under the QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff), and QUT College Educators. This policy is relevant only to those who undertake hybrid work arrangements within Queensland, noting that state and commonwealth legislation differs with respect to taxation and workers compensation issues outside of Queensland.

This policy does not restrict the rights of staff, supervisors, or obligations of QUT under the Fair Work Act, 2009 (Cth) in requesting and considering flexible work arrangements (B/7.1.5).

Similarly, recommendations and considerations for flexible working arrangements as part of any return-to-work program or medical guidance are managed under the Workplace health and rehabilitation policy (B/7.6), and are outside the scope of this policy.

The university may require a staff member to work from a remote work location for a period, in response to external requirements or for necessary health and safety reasons, such as government directives, natural disasters, etc. In circumstances where this occurs, the university will communicate such requirements with affected staff members.

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7.7.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer

  • overarching governance of hybrid working at QUT
  • approves procedures for hybrid working
  • approves variations to the policy where exceptional circumstances apply

Head of school / department or second line supervisor

  • considers opportunities for benefits realisation including space saving that may be available as a result of hybrid work arrangements (e.g. hot desking, collaboration spaces, reallocating space for students, etc.)
  • promotes consistency in application within their area, where possible
  • acts as a point of escalation for staff member concerns not able to be resolved with the supervisor/s
Supervisors (in collaboration with heads of areas)
  • consider any request by a staff member for a hybrid working arrangement, in consideration of hybrid work principles, policy statements, and any other relevant circumstances. Requests will only be approved where the staff member confirms that their remote environments meet mandatory safety requirements
  • update business continuity planning to include reference to hybrid work arrangements, and store locally
  • provide guidance and/or endorsement to staff members and teams regarding their hybrid work arrangements, and any relevant communication approaches regarding how remote working days and in-office availability are to be communicated with leaders, team-members, and/or other stakeholders
Staff members
  • consider the benefits of hybrid working, and make a request to their supervisor, via the Hybrid and Off-Site Work Agreement (HOSWA) form
  • prior to the commencement of any hybrid work, ensure the request is detailed in the HOSWA request form and approved by supervisor
  • at all times during approved hybrid work, ensure that all inherent requirements of the position can be met
  • attend campus for required in-person activities
  • to adhere to all agreed communication approaches regarding how remote working days and in-office availability are to be communicated with leaders, team-members, and/or other stakeholders as appropriate
  • to acquire and maintain any equipment necessary to ensure their agreed remote workstations equipment, and environments are fit for purpose, safe, and utilised as per QUT Health, Safety and Environment policies and guidelines, and QUT Technology guidelines (QUT staff access only)
  • immediately advise supervisors if any individual circumstances change, which may affect the staff member’s ability to adhere to the hybrid work arrangement

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7.7.4 Policy statement

Hybrid work allows staff members to voluntarily enter into an agreement to work part of their working week from a remote work location.

The university is supportive of hybrid work. However, it is accepted that this arrangement may be suspended or terminated by the supervisor following consultation with the staff member including for performance, health and safety concerns, to meet emerging needs, or to meet operational requirements, including required in-person activities.

The Information security policy (F/1.2) applies to work performed from a remote work location and as outlined on the Digital Workplace - Hybrid working (QUT staff access only).

Supervisors have the authority to make decisions regarding the appropriate balance of hybrid work in their areas to maintain operational requirements in accordance with this policy. Supervisors will work with individual staff members and teams to contribute to the successful implementation of hybrid work arrangements.

Under normal circumstances, and where operationally viable, it is expected that staff who enter into hybrid work arrangements will work remotely up to two days per week for full time equivalent, or forty percent of a part time fraction (rounded up to the nearest whole day, in consultation with supervisor). All usual QUT policies apply to remote work locations, as if the staff member was working on QUT premises.

“The hours of work” as outlined in the QUT Enterprise Agreement for professional staff and QUT College Educators applies for hybrid work, and overtime is not to be performed without the prior approval of the supervisor. To ensure operational effectiveness, a work pattern will be agreed with the supervisor, within the span of hours. Staff need to ensure that they are fit for work and contactable for this work pattern, while undertaking hybrid work arrangements.

Staff are required to give their full attention and commitment to the delivery of their QUT role/s, whilst engaging in hybrid work arrangements. This means, ensuring that any appropriate child or other care arrangements are in place whilst working from a remote work location. Leave should be utilised for non-work commitments.

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7.7.5 Ensuring appropriate workstation set up

Prior to commencing any hybrid work arrangement, the terms are to be documented in a Hybrid and Off-Site Work Agreement (HOSWA) request form (QUT staff access only) and approved by the individual’s supervisor. These should be updated and approved wherever there are changes to individual circumstances (e.g. technology, change of address, update to hybrid schedule, etc.).

QUT is committed to the health and safety of all staff, as outlined by legislation and the Health, safety and environment policy (A/9.1). It is a requirement that the staff member confirms that their workstation and work environment is set up in accordance with QUT's Health, safety and environment policy and guidelines before the hybrid work arrangement commences, and upon any proposed change to remote work location. The Workstation checklist (QUT staff access only) provides guidance on workstation support. In the first instance, staff are to consult resources available on the HSE HUB (QUT staff access only) or speak with their supervisor in relation to their remote workstation set up.

Staff members entering into a hybrid work arrangement are responsible for acquiring and maintaining any equipment necessary to ensure that their agreed remote workstations are compliant with safety and technology requirements, as per an approved HOSWA form. Staff need to adhere to all QUT requirements regarding security and access at all times during remote work arrangements. Further guidance for staff regarding technology requirements, set-up and support is available on the Digital Workplace - Hybrid working (QUT staff access only).

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7.7.6 Reviewing a decision

Where a staff member disagrees with the decision made by their supervisor, with regards to their hybrid work arrangement, they are encouraged to firstly discuss this with their supervisor. If the matter cannot be resolved with their supervisor directly, staff may raise the matter with the head of school/department or second line supervisor. The decision of the head of school/department or second line supervisor will be final.

Staff may utilise QUT’s Staff complaints (B/10.1) management process for any grievances which may arise out of the local application of this policy.

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7.7.7 Variation to policy

In exceptional circumstances, the Vice-President (People) and Chief People Officer may approve a variation to this policy. Any such variation will be documented and recorded by the Human Resources department.

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7.7.8 Definitions

Hybrid work is a flexible work model that supports a blend of in-office and remote workers. It seeks to enable staff to access greater flexibility within their work environment, whilst satisfying organisational and business needs.

Hybrid work arrangement refers to the arrangement approved by a supervisor, that facilitates a staff member to work part of their work week remotely. The arrangement includes the proposed regular remote work days and remote work location, along with any other relevant details, and is captured via the Hybrid and Off-Site Work Agreement (HOSWA) request form (QUT staff access only). This arrangement will normally be reviewed at least annually.

Remote work location refers to any alternative work location/s, other than QUT work premises, that is approved for hybrid work. Required in-person activities can include meetings, planning activities, or other team-related events where a supervisor deems that physical attendance is required.

Hybrid work principles are the principles that inform staff and guide supervisors when assessing a hybrid work request, and include the following:

  • opportunities for team collaboration and connectivity, including staff participation in required in-person activities
  • agency for individuals and teams access greater flexibility within their work environment
  • inclusion and equality of opportunity
  • the availability of physical and digital resources at campus and remote work locations
  • development opportunities for staff members
  • business continuity, and the ability of individuals and teams to ensure service delivery expectations are met (including balancing any requirements for physical attendance across team members)
  • the importance of students’ on-campus experience, in accordance with QUT strategic objectives
  • health and safety issues, including the ergonomic set up of workstations and work environments
  • any associated costs
  • the application of hybrid work as fairly as possible across staff within the team; and
  • opportunities for benefits realisation, for example, to maximise space resources. This may mean that not every staff member has their own permanent desk/workstation (whether they engage in hybrid work arrangements or not), and that space allocations may also be used in a more collaborative manner involving others.

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Related Documents

QUT Health, safety and environment (QUT staff access only)

Digital Workplace - Hybrid working (QUT staff access only)

Hybrid and Off-Site Work Agreement (HOSWA) form (QUT staff access only)

Internet and network access – working remotely (QUT staff access only)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Professional Staff) (QUT staff access only)

QUT Enterprise Agreement (Academic Staff) (QUT staff access only)

Register of Authorities and Delegations (QUT staff access only)

MOPP A/9.1 Health, safety and environment

MOPP B/7.1.5 Flexible hours arrangements for professional staff

MOPP B/7.6 Workplace health and rehabilitation

MOPP B/10.1 Staff complaints

MOPP F/1.2 Information security

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Modification History

Date

Sections

Source

Details

05.10.22

All

Vice-Chancellor and President

New policy

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