Teleworking Program

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Policy Code: 
3130
Approval Authority: 
Chancellor
Policy Type: 
University Policy
Policy Owner: 
Administration and Finance
Responsible Office: 
Human Resources - 828.251.6605

 

I. Purpose

Teleworking permits the University to designate that employees work at alternate work locations for all or part of the work week in order to promote general work efficiencies, to ensure competitive advantages with other employers, and to meet the environmental and budgetary challenges of the future as directed by the legislature and governor. Teleworking is an assignment that The University of North Carolina at Asheville may choose to make available to some employees when a mutually beneficial situation exists.

II. Scope

The Policy applies to EPA Non-Faculty and SPA employees who work primarily or exclusively from a remote location off campus that is neither owned nor leased by the University (for example the employee’s home). EPA Non-Faculty employees with full-time or part-time (half-time or more) appointments are eligible, at the discretion of the University. SPA permanent employees are eligible with the following exceptions; probationary, temporary, intermittent and part-time (less than half-time) employees are not eligible (see Section 3 of the State Personnel Manual). Offering the opportunity to work from home is a management option; teleworking is not a universal employee benefit. Some positions have job responsibilities or functions that do not lend themselves to teleworking; therefore teleworking is not an option for all employees. A teleworking situation is voluntary for the employee and at the discretion of management and/or the employee’s supervisor.

III. Definitions

A. Alternate Work Location – a worksite other than the central workplace can include an employee’s home or a satellite office where official State business is performed.

B. Central Workplace – an employee’s assigned place of work or duty station owned or operated by the State or a site that is the primary workstation for field based employees. Typically, a central workstation is a duty station from which employers along with employees in the same work unit perform the functions of their job. However an employee’s home, in instances in which it is the primary workstation for field-based employees, may be considered the central workplace.

C. Telework/Teleworking – a flexible work arrangement in which supervisors direct or permit employees to perform their job duties away from their central workplace, in accordance with their same performance expectations and other approved or agreed-upon terms. It does not include work performed at a temporary work-site for limited duration.

D. Teleworker – an employee engaged in teleworking.

E. Teleworking Agreement – a written agreement that details the terms and conditions by which an employee is allowed to engage in teleworking.

F. Work Schedule – The employee’s hours of work in the central workplace and/or alternate work locations.

G. Senior Staff or Senior Officers – members of the Senior Staff at UNC Asheville are: Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellors, Chief of Staff, University General Counsel and Senior Administrator of University Enterprises/Director of Athletics.

IV. Policy

The University of North Carolina at Asheville may permit an employee to work at an alternate work location if the arrangement is mutually beneficial. The University and the employee shall mutually agree upon teleworking arrangements; however, based on business needs, the University may revise or terminate the teleworking arrangement at any time. Once a department determines that a teleworking arrangement would be beneficial in improving general work efficiencies, a written request must be forwarded from the supervisor to the appropriate department head and the division’s Senior Staff Officer for review and approval.

This request will include the responsibilities of both the University and the employee. A teleworking assignment must comply with the policy provisions below.

A. Compensation and Benefits – An employee’s compensation and benefits will not change when he/she teleworks.

B. Safety and Ergonomics – The employee is responsible for maintaining the telework site in a manner free from health or safety hazards and for notifying his/her supervisor immediately of any unsafe conditions in the designated workspace and of any work-related injuries. The employee is also responsible for ensuring that all furniture is ergonomically correct and that proper lighting and ventilation are provided. Guidelines are provided in UNC Asheville’s Safety and Health Manual, located on the Department of Public Safety web site. Management is not required to physically inspect the telework site, however it retains the right to do so with reasonable advance notice, including inspection of access to and from the telework site. The supervisor may determine that a photo of the alternate work site is sufficient; the photo will be maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

C. Workers’ Compensation – The employee will be covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment while teleworking.

D. Materials and Equipment – Based on the type of work to be performed, the University may provide computer hardware and software, phone lines, email, voice mail, connectivity to host applications, Internet connectivity and other applicable equipment as deemed necessary by the employee’s supervisor. UNC Asheville assumes no responsibility for the employee’s personal property.

E. Restricted-Access materials - The employee’s supervisor must grant permission for the employee to work on restricted-access materials at alternate work locations. Restricted access materials must not be compromised in any way and the employee must take all precautions necessary to secure these materials.

F. Work Hours – The total number of hours that the employee is expected to work will not change, whether they are worked at the central workplace or the alternate work location. This does not, however, restrict the use of alternative work schedules. Please see UNC Asheville Policy 3129, “Flexible Work Schedule,” for more information on alternative work schedules. During their designated work hours, Teleworkers will apply themselves to their work and not engage in activities that are not work-related. Teleworkers shall not engage in overtime work unless prior approval from the supervisor has been received.

G. Conditions of Employment – The policies and procedures that normally apply to the central workplace will remain the same for teleworking employees. This shall include, but not be limited to, performance management. Teleworking assignments do not change the conditions of employment or required compliance with policies and rules and performance expectations. Violation of the University’s regulations, policies and procedures may result in termination of the teleworking agreement and teleworking privilege and may also result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

The University may terminate the teleworking agreement at its discretion. Denial of or termination of a teleworking assignment is not grievable.

V. Procedures

A. Upon receipt of a request for a teleworking assignment, the supervisor evaluates the position and the employee for teleworking assignment suitability, completes the Teleworker Assignment Agreement form, and submits the form to the Department Head and the division’s Senior Officer for approval.

B. If approved, the form is returned to the supervisor for final review with the employee. If the teleworking terms and conditions are acceptable to him/her, the employee signs the form and also completes and signs a Teleworker Safety Checklist.

C. The supervisor should retain a copy of the approved and signed agreement and checklist, and forward the original forms and a photo of the workplace (if applicable) to the Director of Human Resources. The forms will be filed in the employee’s personnel file.

D. The teleworking assignment may begin after the supervisor approves the alternate work site as a safe work site (a photograph may be sufficient).

E. The supervisor must periodically review the teleworking arrangement to ensure it continues to be beneficial for the University. The employee’s Performance Management Review is part of this evaluation process.

F. Continuation of a teleworking assignment into a subsequent calendar year must be documented by submitting an updated and approved Teleworker Assignment Agreement form to Human Resources by January 31 of each year.