Guidelines and FAQs for Developing Flexwork Agreements
The arrangements discussed on these pages are referred to as either flextime or compressed workweek schedules. Collectively, they are referred to as flexible work hours, or "flexwork."
Per WAC 357-28-220, employers must establish hours of work and the workweek for all non-represented classified employees. Assignment of work hours outside of regularly scheduled shifts is allowed. The Collective Bargaining Agreements allow for schedules other than the standard Monday through Friday, 8:00 -5:00.
Some positions require work schedules other than the typical workweek of five consecutive eight-hour days in a 7-day period, e.g., Monday - Friday, 8 - 5. These schedules should be designated as a condition of employment during recruitment or may be changed with proper notice.
When the position does not require, but allows for, flexible work schedules, the department head must determine the feasibility of individual flexwork arrangements. A decision should be based on the benefit to the department, interactions required between the flexworker and other staff or customers during core hours (central portion of the day during which all staff are present), and demonstrated skills of the employee.
The voluntary agreement is for a prescribed time period, revocable at the option of the employer and subject to prior approval by the appointing authority. In addition, the employer or employee may rescind agreement to a voluntary flexwork arrangement consistent with the notice provisions of university policy and the individual flexwork agreement.
Is flexwork an asset to the department? To the University?
The department head should determine whether flexwork arrangements benefit the institution.
Who is eligible to flexwork?
The department head should consider whether the flexwork option will be offered on a department-wide or individual basis.
- the availability of needed resources during non-core working hours,
- uniqueness of employee job duties, working knowledge and client base,
- the benefit to extended office hours with regard to the public.
The ability to flex one's working hours on a voluntary basis is a privilege and not a right. Typically, such relationships will not be established during an employee's probationary or trial service period. If a change in working hours is approved and it is later found that the service provided by that employee is not of the same quality or that the change is causing hardships for other workers, the working hours may be returned to the original format.
How long is a flexwork assignment?
Flexible schedules are for a prescribed period of time; at the end of that time, the agreement should be reviewed by the employee, supervisor, and possibly, the department head. A flexwork assignment is distinct from short, temporary work schedule adjustments which may be made at any time (in accordance with the guidelines in the WACs or collective bargaining agreements, as applicable) at the discretion of the immediate supervisor to meet either the operational needs for the department or the personal needs of the individual employee.
Are there any special actions that need to be taken in reporting time?
Employees are responsible for entering time/absences as directed by their manager no later than their last working day in each pay period. Managers are responsible for maintaining employee work schedules in the system, and reviewing and approving employee time/absence entries by the system, and reviewing and approving employee time/absence entries by the deadline each pay period. Manager delegation is recommended if a manager will be unavailable to review/approve per the payroll schedule.
If assigned to work a 10-hour shift on a paid holiday, are all 10 hours covered by holiday pay?
Full-time employees eligible for holiday pay receive 8 hours of holiday pay. In order to receive payment for the 2 additional hours in the workday, full-time employees working other than an 8 hour day will be required to adjust their flexible work schedule or submit annual leave during weeks in which a holiday falls. An employee must be notified of a schedule change (in accordance with the guidelines in the WACs or collective bargaining agreements, as applicable). This action must be reported to the timekeeper prior to the holiday.
Can assignments be ended earlier than agreed?
The employer may rescind the agreement at any time. Either the employee or the employer may rescind agreement to a voluntary flexwork arrangement, consistent with the notice requirements of university policy and the individual agreement.
Do flexworkers have fixed schedules?
Classified employees (represented and non-represented) have assigned schedules. While flextime schedules may have flexible start/end times on various days of the week (depending on the signed agreement), compressed work schedules tend to be fixed.
Some examples of flextime schedules:
- Individualized start/quit times that remain constant each work day
- Individualized start/quit times that vary daily, with the same number of hours worked each day
- Individualized start/quit times with varied daily hours but the same number of hours worked weekly
- Extended lunch offset by additional hours at the beginning and/or end of the day
- Reduced lunch offset by a later start time or earlier quit time.
Examples of common compressed work schedules:
- 4/10 (Four 10 hour days = 40 hour week)
- 9/80 (Eight 9 hour days, one 8 hour day = 80 hours over 2 weeks)
When considering schedule flexibility, the primary concerns are client service and consistent office coverage. Any change in working hours of employees must not affect the service being provided to students or constituents.