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Procedure: Home based work

Purpose

To inform staff of how to apply for home based work.

Procedure

Introduction

  1. The University recognises that the use of flexible working arrangements can assist staff in balancing their family and other responsibilities with their work commitments.
  2. Home-based work may assist but it is not a substitute for dependent care. The staff member must be able to work as efficiently and effectively as an equivalent staff member on campus.

Applicability

  1. This procedure applies to general staff members of the University whose work is deemed suitable for home-based work.
  2. Home-based work in conjunction with a return to work program following an injury must be negotiated and assessed for suitability with the Rehabilitation Case Manager and an approved medical practitioner.
  3. The University will grant applications for home based work and accommodate the needs of staff members where it is possible to do so, and provided that there is no unreasonable cost to the University or detriment to the staff member’s work performance or that of the work unit as a result of the home based work arrangement.
  4. The University will ensure that a staff member working from home has the same opportunities for professional training and development as University based staff.
  5. Each application will be assessed on its merits, with reference to the staff member’s needs, the requirements of the workplace and subject to a suitable home-based site being available.
  6. While the University will endeavour to accommodate the needs of the staff members wherever possible, these arrangements are not rights and are available only after approval of the delegate has been received.
  7. All University policies that apply at the staff member’s usual place of work apply to the home-based site as far as practicable.
  8. The University is not responsible for any liability on the part of a third party that is not a staff member of the University at the home-based site.
  9. Costs relating to occupational health and safety assessment, set-up and/or reasonable adjustment of the home-based site are the responsibility of the work unit.
  10. The University reserves the right to discontinue a home-based work arrangement.

Starting the process

  1. A staff member may make an application to their immediate supervisor to approve a home-based working arrangement. Where approved, the arrangement will only be entered into on a voluntary basis. The proposal may be initiated in respect of the staff member’s substantive position, or a position in which the staff member is temporarily performing duties.

Suitability

  1. The supervisor will consider the suitability of the staff member’s work for home-based work, taking into account such factors as:
  • Essential requirements of the position;
  • Occupational health and safety considerations;
  • Proportion of time to be spent in home-site and work site; and
  • Overall needs of the Department/Faculty/School.
  1. Duties considered suitable for home-based work may include research, data entry, computer applications design, projects, policy writing, report writing and planning.
  2. Generally, the following types of work will not be suitable for home-based working arrangements:
  • Work that requires a high degree of supervision, or has supervisory responsibilities;
  • Work that requires a high degree of team work and where it would be difficult to accommodate this via the telephone/e-mail;
  • Work that requires client contact that cannot be achieved via telephone or email;
  • Work that requires the staff member to service University facilities/assets; and
  • Work where the staff member has little control over the workflow or demands of the job.

Designation of Home Based Site

  1. Prior to a staff member being granted approval to commence a home-based work arrangement, the staff member will inform the University of the precise area in the home to be used as the workplace. The area designated will be deemed to be the workplace and all other areas of the dwelling will not be classified as the workplace.
  2. Occupational health and safety checks will be carried out in order to ensure that the proposed site conforms to acceptable occupational health and safety standards commensurate with the type of work being undertaken and the risk involved. The local area is responsible for all costs relating to assessment, set-up and reasonable adjustment of the home-based site.
  3. The delegate should seek advice from an appropriate University occupational health and safety delegate prior to approval should there be any on-going concerns that require specialist occupational health and safety advice.
  4. Approval for any proposed working from home arrangement should not be granted by the delegate until any modifications to the home base workplace as recommended by the occupational health and safety adviser have been made.
  5. If a suitable designated home based site cannot be identified, a working from home arrangement will not be approved.

Terms and Conditions and Duties - Negotiation and Agreement

  1. If the type of work the staff member performs is found to be suitable for home-based work and home based site is approved, the terms and conditions of the home-based Agreement will be discussed/negotiated and agreed to by the staff member, supervisor and the Department/Faculty/School Head.
  2. The terms and conditions need to include methods by which the supervisor plans to monitor the staff member’s home-based work, e.g. staff member’s delivery on their statement of expectations, spot checks, phone calls, and computer log-in details. Home-based work is a shared responsibility and the supervisor has an obligation to monitor the staff member’s progress.
  3. A home-based work Schedule and Agreement must be agreed, formalised in writing, signed and placed on the staff member’s Central Records personnel file.

(Forms are currently being created for this procedure. Whilst under construction, please highlight, print and use attachments A and B below).

ATTACHMENT A – Home-based Work Self-Assessment Checklist

  1. This checklist is to be completed by staff members intending to work from home. The checklist should be completed by the staff member making the application, should be reviewed by the supervisor and approved by the Head of Dept/School/Faculty prior to any arrangement starting.

See also the Comcare Virtual Office - A web-based tool to identify office hazards hazards room by room, with practical ideas for eliminating & controlling hazards.

Staff Member Name:

School/Unit:

Home Phone:

Email:

CHECKLIST - please circle response

Chair

Is the chair adjusted to fit you? Check that the

Backrest height and back tilt are adjusted to fit the curve of the user’s back and allow a slightly reclined posture

Yes No

N/A

Seat height and angle are adjusted so that user can sit with their feet flat on the floor, hips between 90 degrees and 120 degrees

Yes No

N/A

An adjustable-height footrest is supplied if you need one

Yes No

N/A

Have you been shown how to adjust the chair to correctly support the body?

Yes No

N/A

Desk/bench

Has the desk height been adjusted so the surface is set just below your elbow height?

Yes No

N/A

If the desk is not adjustable, is the surface set just below your elbow height (e.g. chair raised slightly, foot rest supplied)?

Yes No

N/A

Is the desk large enough to fit the task requirements of the job?

Yes No

N/A

Is the desk deep enough to allow the computer screen to be approximately at arm’s length away from you?

Yes No

N/A

Is there adequate space under the desk to allow comfortable forward facing posture and ability to get in and out of the workstation?

Yes No

N/A

Are the desk corners and under desk space rounded, smooth and free of sharp edges (e.g. no keyboard, shelves under desk)?

Yes No

N/A

Are items such as disk drives, files, rubbish bins and desk drawers stored so that they do not interfere with available space under the desk?

Yes No

N/A

Are frequently used items on the desk stored within easy reach (e.g. keyboard, telephone)?

Yes No

N/A

Are large or heavy items stored within close reach and not above shoulder height, or nearby where you have to stand to access them?

Yes No

N/A

Is there a sloped desk surface or angle board for reading and writing tasks if required?

Yes No

N/A

For a standing desk, is the desk adjustable so the surface can be set just below the user’s elbow height?

Yes No

N/A

Computer

Is the keyboard close to the front edge of the desk allowing space for the wrists/forearms to rest on the desk surface (about 12 – 15cm)?

Yes No

N/A

Are the keyboard feet adjusted to position the keyboard as flat as possible on the desk?

Yes No

N/A

Do you touch type to avoid the need to look down at the keys?

Yes No

N/A

Is the mouse or pointer positioned as close to the keyboard as possible?

Yes No

N/A

Have you been trained to operate the mouse as close as possible to the midline and not to hold the mouse when not in use?

Yes No

N/A

Has the screen been positioned at approximately arm’s length from your seated position?

Yes No

N/A

Has the screen been positioned so you can look straight ahead and slightly down at the screen (top of screen level with or below eye level when the user is sitting upright)?

Yes No

N/A

Has the screen been positioned directly in front of the user (or close this position if document holder or second screen required)?

Yes No

N/A

Is there a document holder either beside the screen or between the screen and keyboard if required?

Yes No

N/A

Is the screen positioned to avoid reflections or glare from windows or lights (e.g. not facing or backing onto windows)?

Yes No

N/A

Telephone

Is the telephone placed within the close reach sector on the side which is comfortable to use with other tasks and equipment?

Yes No

N/A

If there is considerable telephone work, is there a headset provided?

Yes No

N/A

Is the headset appropriate for the task (one or both ears) and comfortable to wear?

Yes No

N/A

Is the workstation appropriately positioned or partitioned to prevent interference noise?

Yes No

N/A

ATTACHMENT B – Home-Based Work Schedule

Staff Member Details

Staff Member Name:

Position:

Home Office Address:

Home Office Phone:

Email:

Days at home based work site:

Days at University work site:

Hours per week at home based work site:

Commencement date:

End Date:

Details of work to be performed at home based work site:

Asset/equipment list attached:

Part 1.

Yes

No

Working from Home Self-Assessment Checklist attached:

Part 2.

Yes

No

Declaration:

I have read and understood the conditions set out in this Working from Home Agreement. I indicate my acceptance of the terms of this Agreement by signing below.

Staff Member

Signature:

Date:

Supervisor

Signature:

Date:

Approved:

Head of School/ Faculty/Dept:

Signature:

Date:

HOME BASED WORK AGREEMENT

  1. A home-based work arrangement is a voluntary and co-operative arrangement encompassing the principles set out in the Home Based Work procedure.
  2. Conditions of employment and variations in the conditions of employment
  3. The terms and conditions of employment between the Australian National University (“the University”) and the staff member that apply at the staff member’s place of work also apply at the home based work site. In particular the following will not be altered by this Agreement:
  • Any applicable legislation, awards or agreements
  • Level of position and related remuneration
  1. The University and the staff member may agree to vary any of the terms of this Agreement with the exception of a) above. Any variation must be agreed by both the University and the staff member and must be in writing and attached to this Agreement.

The Staff Member Agrees To:

Communication

  1. be contactable during the span of hours in which home- based work is carried out.

Confidentiality

  1. maintain security over confidential information.

Intellectual Property

  1. adhere to the University’s Intellectual Property Guidelines.

Representing of the ANU

  1. The staff member will conduct meetings will all external clients on Campus when representing the University.

Occupational Health and Safety

  • Co-operate with the University to ensure that the home-based work site conforms to acceptable Occupational Health and Safety standards.
  • Notify the immediate supervisor of any work related incident, injury or illness arising out of home-based work.
  • Grant University specified personnel access to visit or inspect the home-based site at mutually agreeable times within business hours. The staff member will be given not less than 24 hours’ notice of the visit. This is to ensure that the work site complies with the University’s statutory obligations to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the staff member.
  • Allow a duly appointed Comcare Inspector or a representative of the University’s occupational health and safety team or occupational therapist to enter the home-based work site in the event of a dispute arising. A notice period of no less than 24 hours will be given in writing and the inspection should take place within designated working hours.
  • Inform the University where there are any changes to the designated home base work area.

Term of the agreement

The home based work Agreement between The University and

(Name) …………………………………………………………

Is effective from (date) ……………………………to ………………….

Termination of the home based work arrangement

  1. Either party prior to expiry may terminate the agreement provided that the party wishing to terminate gives reasonable notice.
  2. It is agreed that reasonable notice shall be four weeks if the previously agreed period for home based work was for six months; or two weeks if the previously agreed period for home based work was for less than six months.

Hours of Work/Overtime

  • Maintain an accurate and up to date (daily) record of hours worked at the normal home-based work site and make the record available to the designated supervisor.
  • No overtime is to be worked unless it is agreed to by the supervisor prior to work being carried out. (No meal allowance is applicable for this overtime.)
  • Spend (amount of agreed time in form of time/days specified) in the campus office on a regular basis.

Equipment

  • Not attempt to service, upgrade/repair the University’s equipment.
  • Return to work on campus when equipment needs repair/servicing.
  • Use all ANU supplied equipment within their recommended operating specifications.
  • Notify the University of any problems/difficulties that arise with the operation of the University’s equipment.

The University Agrees to:

Occupational Health and Safety

  1. If requested by the delegate, carry out an assessment of the staff member’s proposed home-based work environment and make recommendations regarding changes that may need to be made in order for that workstation to meet occupational health and safety requirements (see Attachment A).

Hours of Work

  1. Require the staff member to work hours within the normal span of hours of the staff member’s hours of work. There will be no financial compensation for hours worked outside of the staff member’s normal span of hours unless otherwise agreed.

Conditions of employment

  1. Maintain the staff member’s position level and related remuneration as a result of this Agreement.

Equipment (will change depending on whose equipment is used)

  • Maintain equipment and/or software owned or leased by the University to the staff member.
  • Subsidise a percentage of the cost of maintenance and repair of the staff member’s PC equipment, if the staff member’s PC equipment is approved to be used.
  • Provide supplies, including a first aid kit, unless otherwise agreed to.
  • Attach to the Agreement an equipment register and designated owners.
  • Reach an agreement with the staff member regarding utilities supplied to the home-based work area and how they will be paid for. (e.g. electricity costs and phone call/internet costs) Arrangements like the installation of extra phone lines also need to be documented and attached to the Agreement.

Performance Measurement

  1. Establish with the staff member an agreed procedure, appropriate to the staff member’s work, by which the performance of the staff member at the home-based work site can be monitored. System based automated work measurements should not be used as the sole means for determining or monitoring individual work performance.

Information

Printable version (PDF)
Title Home based work
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_000598
Version 9
Purpose To inform staff of how to apply for home based work including the designation and assessment of a home based worksite.
Audience Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff
 
Effective Date 4 Jun 2008
Review Date 30 Sep 2015
 
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority