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This policy document is currently under review to reflect The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026, which came into effect on 5 December 2023. Until this has been reviewed, the new Enterprise Agreement will take precedence over the provisions outlined in this document.

Procedure: Workloads


To inform staff of the procedures involved in resolving staff workload grievances, in accordance with ANU Workloads policy, and the ANU Enterprise Agreement.


  1. Each staff member’s workload will be allocated in an equitable and transparent manner in consultation with the staff member, be recorded in the 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; and
  • leave entitlements and the approved leave plans of the staff member.

Academic workload factors

  1. Academic workloads for teaching and research staff will ensure a well-balanced portfolio across education 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 discussed and recorded in the Performance and Development Review.
  2. The required duties of academic staff will be agreed so they can 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. The University recognises 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 ameliorate increased demands on staff time.
  4. 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 needs of early career academic staff to establish their research, education and service profile;
  • linking research activities to teaching;
  • 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 course 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 of the ANU Enterprise Agreement (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 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. Where a staff member has a genuine workload issue, they are encouraged to raise such concerns with their supervisor in the first instance.
  2. Where a staff member has raised a workloads issue with their supervisor, and the issue has not been resolved through the ordinary course of the supervisor/staff member relationship, the below process may commence:
  3. The staff member will submit their concerns, in writing, to their supervisor, with a copy to the supervisor’s supervisor. If the staff member has practical suggestions as to how their concerns may be alleviated, then they are encouraged to set these out also.
  4. Upon receipt of written concerns, in accordance with clause 10 (above), the supervisor must provide a written response to the staff member within ten (10) working days, with a copy to the supervisor’s supervisor.
  5. Within ten (10) working days of receipt of the staff member’s written concerns (clause 10), 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.
  6. Where a workload issue has not been sufficiently resolved, the supervisor’s supervisor will attempt to facilitate an equitable outcome that is conducive to a productive and harmonious relationship, and in accordance with the Workload policy. In facilitating an appropriate outcome, the supervisor’s supervisor may:
  7. discuss relevant matters more widely within the work area;
  8. seek outside expertise to advise on, for example, work flow improvements; or
  9. issue written directions to either the supervisor, or the staff member, or both.
  10. Staff can seek the advice of staff representatives, and may ask a support person to accompany them to discussions relating to workload allocation concerns with the supervisor or the supervisor’s supervisor.
  11. A staff member who believes that a workload allocation issue has not been adequately resolved in accordance with clauses 9 to clause 13, may raise the matter with the Delegate of their work area, in accordance with the grievance resolution procedure.


Printable version (PDF)
Title Workloads
Document Type Procedure
Document Number ANUP_003609
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 23 Mar 2018
Next Review Date 30 Jun 2024
Responsible Officer: Chief People Officer
Approved By: Chief Operating Officer
Contact Area Human Resources Division
Authority: The Australian National University Enterprise Agreement 2023-2026
Delegations 0

Information generated and received by ANU staff in the course of conducting business on behalf of ANU is a record and should be captured by an authorised recordkeeping system. To learn more about University records and recordkeeping practice at ANU, see ANU recordkeeping and Policy: Records and archives management.