The purpose of flexible work arrangements (FWA) is to create flexible working conditions to help employees accomplish work more effectively while meeting their personal work/life needs. Not all University positions lend themselves to flexible work arrangements; therefore, decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis and will be dependent on the best interests of the department and University as determined by its goals and objectives. Each arrangement must satisfy the general University requirements that apply as described in the Flexible Work Policy.
In certain instances, Family Medical Leave is a more appropriate option than flexible work arrangements. For more information on Family and Medical leave provisions, visit FMLA and Other University Leaves.
On this page:
- Types of Flexible Work Arrangements
- Considerations for Success
- Effect on Paid Time Off
- Policies Related to Flexible Work
- Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits-eligible staff employees are generally eligible to explore a flexible work arrangement. However, there are certain positions that cannot be adapted to a FWA, such as when the position involves frequent on-campus interactions, or when the role does not have flexibility to accommodate shift changes. Any employee who is represented for collective bargaining purposes by a labor union shall only be eligible for a flexible work arrangement to the extent flexible work arrangements have been agreed to by the applicable union and employer. Consult the Flexible Work Policy and the Benefits Eligibility Policy, or ask your Senior HR Business Partner or Labor Relations Specialist if you have questions about eligibility for FWA.
Types of Flexible Work Arrangements
The following flexible work arrangements will be considered:
- Flextime is an arrangement that allows eligible employees to alter the start and end times or lunch time of her/his work day around the standard University schedule. Flextime does not reduce the total number of hours worked in a given workweek.
- Telecommuting allows eligible employees to work from a remote location, either full or part-time.
- Compressed Work Schedule allows eligible staff members to work longer hours each day in order to have time off during another normal work day, to fulfill a traditional hour work week in less than a traditional number of work days. The most common compressed workweek is a four-day, 10-hour schedule (4 days/40 hours or 4 days/37.5 hours).
Considerations for Success
The employee and the supervisor will work with the Senior HR Business Partner to consider the following:
- Are the position and the job responsibilities a good fit for Flexible Work Arrangements?
- What is the impact of the FWA on those who depend upon the eligible staff member’s services?
- What is the impact of the FWA proposal on the needs of the department and University?
- Does the eligible staff member’s work style fit well with a FWA?
- Does the eligible staff member meet or exceed performance standards?
- Does the FWA impact the eligible staff member’s current benefits and pay?
- Are there core work hours for the department that are not flexible and must be worked by all staff members to meet the operational needs of the department?
- What are the cost considerations such as equipment and services?
- Are there confidentiality and security considerations that need to be addressed?
Effect on Paid Time Off
The accrual and use of paid time off benefits may be affected by a flexible work arrangement, as follows:
Flextime: the appropriate number of work hours should be deducted for holiday, floating holiday, sick, and vacation time regardless of whether the start/end times or lunch time is flexed.
Telecommuting: paid time off benefits for a telecommuting day are to be handled as they would be for a day working in the office. The appropriate number of work hours should be deducted for holiday, sick, and vacation time whether the employee is telecommuting or working in the office that day.
Compressed Work Schedule: Vacation time, floating holiday time, personal business time and sick time should be viewed in terms of “hours available” for the purposes of deducting from the bank of a compressed work schedule employee. If a holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled work day, the employee shall receive pay for his/her regularly scheduled work hours. If a holiday falls on an employee’s day off, holiday pay is not granted. This rule applies to all employees, regardless of flexible schedule status, and is unchanged by flexible work arrangements.
Policies Related to Flexible Work
Depending on the employee’s circumstances, there may be policies and procedures that should be reviewed with respect to a flexible work arrangement. Prior to speaking with your Senior HR Business Partner about a potential flexible work arrangement, please review the Flexible Work Policy in its entirety, including the related policies listed at the end of the policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, not all jobs are suitable for flexible work arrangements. The approval and success of a Flexible Work Arrangement is dependent on it being a mutually beneficial arrangement for the University, department, and eligible staff member. In order to meet the needs of our students and other staff, in some cases a FWA cannot be permitted.
Yes. An approved flexible work arrangement will undergo periodic review and assessment. If at any time the FWA is not meeting the needs and expectations of the employee, supervisor, or University, the FWA will be discussed and in some cases terminated.
No. New York State labor laws require that a break be given after six hours of work.
I am not sure if a FWA or a Family Medical Leave would be more appropriate for me. How can I determine which I need?
Who should I contact with a question about Disability or Workers' Compensation benefits as it relates to flexible work arrangements?
The Office of Risk Management administers Workers’ Compensation benefits and New York State Disability benefits for non-exempt employees. Disability benefits for exempt employees are handled by the HR Service Center.