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Procedure: Workloads


To inform staff of the procedures involved in resolving staff workload grievances.


  1. The framework for the management of workloads at the ANU is provided for in the Policy: Workloads.
  2. Each staff member’s workload will be allocated in consultation with the staff member, usually as part of the preparation for a Performance and Development review, having regard to the:
  • organisational requirements of the local area;
  • staff member’s level of appointment;
  • career and work goals established in the staff member’s Performance and Development Review
  • needs of early career academic staff to establish their research profile;
  • importance of maintaining an appropriate balance between work and family life; and
  • annual leave entitlement and the approved leave plans of the staff member.

Academic workloads

  1. Academic workloads for teaching and research staff will ensure a well-balanced portfolio across teaching and related duties, research and scholarship and service. All continuing academic staff will be expected to undertake self-directed research and/or scholarship activity. It is expected that the balance of this portfolio will be considered during performance and development agreement discussions.
  2. The required duties of academic staff will be agreed so they can be reasonably expected to be completed in a professional and competent manner within an average of 37.5 hours per week. Hence academic staff will not be directly instructed to work more than 1725 hours per year.
  3. Each College will develop a workload allocation policy in consultation with academic staff. This policy will detail the rights and responsibilities of academic staff; academic supervisors; and College Heads in relation to the allocation of workload.

Academic workload factors

  1. The parties recognise that the ratio of students (EFTSL) to non-casual staff (Non-casual FTE) with teaching duties is a measure of the demand on staff time. If allowed to increase unreasonably it can compromise the quality of the University’s teaching and research training programs. It is recognised, however, that many factors can affect student-staff ratio, including the staffing profile of an academic organisational unit, and changes in enrolment patterns. Nevertheless, except in those circumstances where the University has an established target for growth, the University will use its best endeavours to act in accordance with the principles of the Staff Workloads policy and procedures to ameliorate increased demands on staff time.
  2. In determining the allocation of academic workloads and their qualifications, a range of factors will be taken into account, including but not limited to the following:
  • Modes of delivery, including face –to-face teaching, on-line teaching and blended learning;
  • The level and complexity of courses taught;
  • Preparation for teaching, curriculum development and the development of courses materials;
  • Class size for lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory groups.
  • Supervision and mentoring of staff and students;
  • The number of students taught;
  • Research, scholarship and creative production undertaken;
  • Requirements for professional development;
  • Field work supervision;
  • Internal and external professional and consulting work;
  • Service and community outreach, including participation on committees;
  • International commitments; and
  • Any carer`s responsibilities.

Professional staff workloads

  1. Professional staff will be allocated a workload that is manageable within their ordinary hours of work as defined by clause 19 (hours of work). Formal arrangements will have been approved, including payment for overtime or time in lieu, when staff work outside or in excess of the ordinary hours.
  2. No professional staff will be required to work unreasonable overtime.

Resolution of workload concerns

  1. The University will use its best endeavours to allocate workloads in a fair and equitable manner and workloads will be addressed regularly between the staff member and their supervisor in accordance with the Policy: Performance and development – Academic and Professional staff. Staff members are encouraged to raise workload issues with their supervisor whenever there is a genuine concern or problem about such issues.
  2. Where a staff member has brought a workloads issue to the attention of their supervisor, and the issue has not been resolved through the ordinary course of the supervisor/staff member relationship, the below may commence:
  3. The staff member should submit their concerns, in writing, to their supervisor, with a copy to the Delegate. If the staff member has practical suggestions as to how their concerns may be alleviated, then they are encouraged to set these out also.
  1. The supervisor must provide a written response to the staff member within ten (10) working days, which is copied to the Delegate. Ideally, the supervisor will have met with the staff member in an attempt to resolve the concerns before preparing a written response, and any resolution agreed between them will be reflected in such written response.
  2. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the staff member’s written concerns, the Delegate will follow up with both the staff member and the supervisor to ensure that the matter has been resolved to their mutual satisfaction. If this is not the case, then the Delegate will attempt to facilitate an equitable outcome. In doing so, the Delegate may discuss relevant matters more widely within the work area, may seek outside expertise to advise on, for example, work flow improvements, or may issue written directions to either the supervisor or the staff member, or both. In attempting to facilitate an outcome that is conducive to a productive and harmonious relationship, the Delegate will be guided by the Policy: Workloads.
  3. Staff can seek the advice of their staff representative, and may ask a staff representative or another person to accompany them to any discussions with the supervisor or the Delegate.
  1. A staff member who believes that the problem has not been adequately resolved can seek redress through formal grievance and mediation.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Workloads
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_003609
Version 4
Purpose To inform staff of the procedures involved in resolving staff workload grievances.
Audience Staff, Staff-Academic, Staff-Professional, Prospective Staff
Category Administrative
Topic/ SubTopic Staff - Performance Expectations
Effective Date 29 Aug 2016
Review Date 31 Dec 2017
Responsible Officer Director, Human Resources
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority ANU Enterprise Agreement 2017 – 2021