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Flexible Work Arrangements

Policy Statement

The Deputy Minister may approve a flexible work arrangement between the employer and an employee where both parties agree to voluntarily alter the employment relationship on a conditional basis, subject to operational requirements and provisions outlined in this policy. The employer and/or employee may terminate any flexible work arrangement with an appropriate notice period.

For the purposes of this policy, these flexible work arrangements include: flex-time, compressed work week, and e-work.

Application

This policy applies to all employees. Bargaining unit employees should also consult their respective collective agreements.

Definitions

compressed work week an arrangement whereby employees work longer hours in exchange for a reduction in the number of working days in their work cycle (i.e., weekly or bi-weekly basis)
employer the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as represented by Treasury Board
e-work an arrangement whereby an employee, at least on a periodic basis, fulfils his or her regularly scheduled job responsibilities at a remote location which is not operated by the employer - usually an employee's home
flex-time an arrangement whereby employees' scheduled work hours are varied - usually altering the start and end times of their working day - but without modifying the length of the standard work day or work week
flexible work arrangements conditionally altered employee-employer relationships designed to help employees balance work, personal and family responsibilities
standard work week normally either 35 hours, 37.5 hours, 40 hours, or as defined by the employer

Responsibilities

The department and its employees must ensure that operational needs are met and that productivity and costs are not negatively affected by the application of flexible work arrangements.

Department

It is the responsibility of individual departments to:

  1. manage hours of work to ensure the department runs in an efficient and effective manner;

  2. advise employees of their start, rest and stop times;

  3. consider requests for flexible work arrangements and approve or refuse requests based on the operational needs of the department and the feasibility of the employee's proposal;

  4. in consultation with an employee requesting a flexible work arrangement to:

    i. develop a written agreement defining the specific conditions of the employee's flexible work arrangement; and

    ii. pattern this written agreement on the appropriate template agreement provided with this Flexible Work Arrangements Policy;

  5. monitor each approved flexible work arrangement for:

    i. the employee's compliance with the conditions of the written agreement;

    ii. the effect of the flexible work arrangement on departmental operations;

  6. consider relevant Collective Agreement provisions;

  7. if necessary, modify a flexible work arrangement in consultation with the employee or discontinue the arrangement; and

  8. determine any potential impacts on employee benefits.

Employee

It is the responsibility of employees to:

  1. ensure that work is completed in an efficient and effective manner;

  2. fulfil agreements made with the Deputy Minister concerning work hours; and

  3. consult with the applicable human resource policies to determine any impact on employee benefits.

General Conditions

Employees interested in flexible work arrangements should make application through the Deputy Minister.

The Deputy Minister has the discretion to consider and initiate flexible work arrangements that satisfy the definitions of the standard work day and the standard work week. The Deputy Minister may vary the employees' hours of work and days off, subject to mutual agreement in writing, between individual employees and their department.

The Deputy Minister may consider requests for flexible work arrangements taking into account:

  1. the business needs of the department or division;

  2. supervision of work;

  3. departmental hours of operation;

  4. service level impacts on departmental clients;

  5. the needs of the individual employee who made the request;

  6. the effect on co-workers and their ability to do their work;

  7. the requested duration of the flexible work arrangement; and

  8. any occupational health and safety issues which may be a factor in the health and safety of the employee, co-workers and clients.

Where flexible work arrangements are approved by the Deputy Minister, the employee and the department will be required to sign an agreement outlining their responsibilities and the terms and conditions of the flexible work arrangement.

Each flexible work arrangement approved by the Deputy Minister may begin with up to a six month pilot period to assess the viability of the arrangement. Based on the results of the trial process, the Deputy Minister may extend or modify the flexible work arrangement in consultation with the employee or discontinue the flexible work arrangement completely.

If it is apparent that the flexible work arrangement is negatively affecting the employee and departmental productivity, costs or operational needs prior to the end of the pilot period, the Deputy Minister may modify or discontinue the flexible work arrangement immediately.

Employees who work a flexible work arrangement, or a shift schedule where the number of hours worked is greater than the standard work day, are entitled to receive one 15-minute paid rest period for every three and a half hours worked.

All other requirements as noted in the Hours of Work Policy apply to employees unless modified by the flexible work arrangement approved by the Deputy Minister.

Flexible Work Arrangement Guidelines, Q&A's and Sample Agreements

Guidelines for implementation, Q&A's, sample agreements, and other resources for the flexible work arrangements are available via the following links:

Last Policy Update: May 13, 2009

 
Last Updated:
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