Table of Contents
- Introduction 3
- Scope 4
- Purpose 4
- Objective 4
- Procedures 4
- Basic Requirements 5
- Employee Eligibility 6
- Position Eligibility 6
- Request Process 7
- Performance Assessment 7
- Equipment 8
- Data Protection & Security 8
- Remote Work Safety 9
- Health & Safety 9
- Impromptu Arrangements 9
- Non-compliance to Policy 10
Organisations recognize that there may be circumstances where offsite/remote work needs to be implemented e.g. state of emergency, the current crisis with COVID-19, gas/nuclear explosion, among others. This may be as a result of any unexpected disruption to normal life. This policy may be activated in an effort to ensure:
- Business continuity to facilitate members’ continued access to core financial services.
- Protection of team members by minimizing possible exposure (e.g. COVID-19) thus ensuring the workforce remains healthy as possible.
Offsite/Remote work/Telecommuting is a work arrangement that allows employees to work at home, or at some other off-site location for all or part of their regularly scheduled work hours or workweek. Locations include:
- At home
- In a satellite location
- On the road
Employees may work from home
- Daily, dividing their schedule between work from home and being present at the office
- Full time
- On certain days
Work from home arrangements can be occasional, temporary or permanent.
Although not all jobs can be performed satisfactorily from other locations (which the credit union/league will determine), the credit union/league recognizes that, in some cases, remote work arrangements can provide a mutually beneficial option for both the employer and employees. There can also be community benefits (e.g. during a pandemic.)
Telecommuting is considered to be a viable, flexible work option when both the employee and the job are suited to such an arrangement. It may be appropriate for some employees and jobs but not for others. Telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements (FWA’s) are not entitlements, but provisions which may be agreed between the credit union/employer and employee, and it does not in any way change the terms and conditions of employment.
Reasons that could demand telecommuting include but are not limited to:
- Bad weather
- Medical reasons
- Work-life balance
- Overlong commute
- Career responsibilities (Parenting, caring for elderly parents, etc.)
- Pandemic driven reasons
This policy applies to all staff members in the Credit Union or League. It should be executed in collaboration with the credit union’s/league Human Resources Policy manual.
The purpose of this policy is
- To establish the credit union’s/league’s approach to remote work, telecommuting, Work from Home
- To explain the details about telecommuting procedures required for requesting, approving and effectively implementing telecommuting which is available to eligible staff.
- To enable effective, equitable, transparent and mutually beneficial remote work arrangements.
The credit union/league strives to offer alternative or flexible work arrangements for staff. A variety of alternative work arrangements may be applied. Some of the programmes in alternate/flexible working arrangements that are now being offered include:
- Alternate and reduced work schedules
- Compressed work week
- Work from home
Arrangements are generally based on both business needs and individual employee needs. However, in situations of an epidemic, pandemic or any other circumstance (e.g. state of emergency, national shutdown) is to ensure the safety of employees under emergency conditions and to protect the credit union/league from fraud and disruption of service.
Telecommuting can be informal, such as:
- working from home for a short-term project or due to a pandemic,
- on the road during business travel,
- a formal, set schedule for working away from the office.
Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement.
Any remote work arrangement made will be on a trial basis for the first three months and may be discontinued at will and at any time at the request of either the telecommuter or the credit union/league.
Every effort will be made to provide 30 days’ notice of such change to accommodate commuting, child care and other issues that may arise from the termination of a telecommuting arrangement. There may be instances, however, when only limited notice is possible.
While employees and supervisors have the freedom to develop arrangements tailored to employee and departmental needs, the following basic requirements must be met:
- At their home office, employees must be able to carry out the same/most of the same duties, assignments, and other work obligations as they do when working on the employer’s premises.
- A review of work processes and approvals for online applicability.
- Adherence to the agreed workweek for all full‐time regular employees, this is 40 hours, divided into five days, (Monday through Friday), with employees scheduled to work eight hours per day.
- It is also possible to utilise a compressed work week arrangement. However, the work hours must be agreed prior to any such arrangements.
- During core work hours, employees must be available to their supervisors and co‐workers.
- At the home office, employees must be available to attend scheduled meetings and participate in other required office activities as needed. Except for extraordinary circumstances, the credit union/league will normally provide at least 24 hours’ notice for such events. However, online meetings which should be in the majority, may be arranged where face to face meetings are not possible.
- Telecommuting employees will be required to accurately record all hours worked using the credit union’s/league’s time-keeping system where required.
- Hours worked in excess of those scheduled per day and per workweek require the advance approval of the telecommuter’s supervisor. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the immediate termination of the telecommuting agreement.
Permanent, full-time/part-time officers, fixed term contract employees (short or long term), temporary employees are eligible.
Employees requesting formal telecommuting arrangements must
- be employed with the employer for a minimum period of continuous, regular employment
- possess good time‐management and organizational skills,
- be self‐motivated, self‐reliant, and disciplined and
- have a satisfactory performance record.
Special relaxed considerations will apply during special situations such as a pandemic.
Not all jobs can be performed from off‐site locations. In general, positions requiring face‐to‐face interaction with members and office personnel are not suitable for telecommuting arrangements.
Before entering into any telecommuting agreement, managers, together with HR, (utilising the information provided by the employee), will evaluate the suitability of such an arrangement, reviewing the following areas:
- Employee suitability: The employee and manager will assess the needs and work habits of the employee, compared to traits customarily recognized as appropriate for successful telecommuters.
- Job responsibilities: The employee and manager will discuss the job responsibilities and determine if the job is appropriate for a telecommuting arrangement.
- Equipment needs, workspace design considerations and scheduling issues: The employee and manager will review the physical workspace needs and the appropriate location for the telework.
- Legal implications: The credit union/league along with the employee will determine any legal implications under government laws, confidentiality laws, and/or restrictions on working out of a home-based office. Responsibility for fulfilling all obligations in this area rests solely with the employee.
- Remote work/Telecommuting arrangements are approved by supervisors and the most Senior Manager as well as Human Resources on a case‐by‐case basis. Telecommuting might not be feasible within some departments or for certain positions within a department
- During a pandemic, management may request that designated staff work from home/telecommute in order to reduce the risk of community transmission of illnesses. At the end of a pandemic-related absence, employees will be required to provide medical clearance for return to work.
- Employees interested in telecommuting arrangements should discuss the matter with their supervisors and complete a Telecommuting Request and Evaluation Form.
- If the employee and manager agree, and the human resource department concurs, a draft telecommuting agreement will be prepared and signed by all parties, and a three-month trial period will commence.
- Evaluation of the telecommuter’s performance during the trial period will include regular interaction by phone and e-mail between the employee and the manager, and weekly face-to-face/online meetings to discuss work progress and problems.
- At the end of the trial period, the employee and manager will each complete an evaluation of the arrangement and make recommendations for continuance or modifications. A performance evaluation of the telecommuter’s performance beyond the trial period will be consistent with that received by employees working at the office in both content and frequency, but will focus on work output and completion of objectives rather than on time-based performance.
- An appropriate level of communication between the telecommuter and supervisor will be agreed to as part of the discussion process and will be more formal during the trial period.
- After conclusion of the trial period, the manager and telecommuter will communicate at a level consistent with employees working at the office or in a manner and frequency that is appropriate for the job and the individuals involved.
The credit union/league recognises that telecommuting is not a barrier to promotion or management responsibilities.
- On a case-by-case basis, the credit union/league will determine, with information supplied by the employee and the supervisor, the appropriate equipment needs (including hardware, software, modems, phone and data lines and other office equipment) for each telecommuting arrangement.
- The human resource and information system departments will serve as resources in this matter. Equipment supplied by the organization will be maintained by the organization. Equipment supplied by the employee, if deemed appropriate by the organization, will be maintained by the employee.
- The credit union/league accepts no responsibility for damage or repairs to employee-owned equipment. The employer reserves the right to make determinations as to appropriate equipment, subject to change at any time.
- Equipment supplied by the organization is to be used for business purposes only. The telecommuter must sign an inventory of all credit union’s/league’s property received and agree to take appropriate action to protect the items from damage or theft. Upon termination of employment, all credit union’s/league’s property will be returned to the employer, unless other arrangements have been made.
- The credit union/league will supply the employee with appropriate office supplies (pens, paper, etc.) as deemed necessary. The credit union will also reimburse the employee for business-related expenses, such as phone calls and shipping costs that are reasonably incurred in carrying out the employee’s job.
- The employee will establish an appropriate work environment within his or her home for work purposes. The employer will not be responsible for costs associated with the setup of the employee’s home office, where the arrangement is requested by the employee, such as remodeling, furniture or lighting, nor for repairs or modifications to the home office space.
Data Protection & Security
- The credit union/league will carry out the risk assessment of the data protection implications of work from home.
- Consistent with the credit union’s/league’s expectations of information security for employees working at the office, telecommuting employees will be expected to ensure the protection of proprietary company and customer information accessible from their home office.
- Steps include the use of locked file cabinets and desks, regular password maintenance, and any other measures appropriate for the job and the environment.
Remote Work Safety
- Employees are expected to maintain their home workspace in a safe manner, free from safety hazards. The employer will provide each telecommuter with a safety checklist that must be completed at least twice per year.
- Injuries sustained by the employee in an employer-initiated home office location and in conjunction with his or her regular work duties are normally covered by the HR policy manual. Where work-from-home is mandated by regulation during a pandemic, the employer is not responsible for any injuries in the home office.
- Remote work/Telecommuting employees are responsible for notifying the employer of such injuries as soon as practicable.
- The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to his or her home worksite.
Telecommuting/remote work is not designed to be a replacement for appropriate child care. Although an individual employee’s schedule may be modified to accommodate child care needs, the focus of the arrangement must remain on job performance and meeting business demands.
Prospective telecommuters are encouraged to discuss expectations of telecommuting with family members prior to entering a trial period.
Health & Safety
The credit union/league is responsible for an employee’s health, safety and welfare as far as is reasonably practicable where telecommuting is employer initiated.
The credit union/league will therefore initially and periodically conduct risk assessments of all work activities that will be carried by employees working from home.
Employees with pre-existing health conditions will be considered on a priority basis when activating the work from home policy in the situation of a pandemic.
Temporary telecommuting arrangements may be approved on an ad-hoc basis for circumstances such as inclement weather, special projects or business travel. These arrangements are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance.
Other informal, short-term arrangements may be made for employees on family or medical leave to the extent practical for the employee and the credit union/league and with the consent of the employee’s health care provider, if appropriate.
All informal remote work arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis, focusing first on the business needs of the credit union/league. The employer has the right to cancel or suspend employee telecommuting privileges at any time, for any reason or for no reason.
Non-compliance to Policy
Failure to comply with any aspect of this policy or related policies may constitute a disciplinary offence.
- I have read and agree to the above stated policy.
– Resources provided by Leagues, Credit Unions, HRMAJ.