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Remote Work Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) Charles Sturt University (the University) recognises that there are times and circumstances when it may be appropriate for a staff member to work from home or another worksite that is remote from University campuses. This Policy provides guidance for consideration of requests from staff members to work from a remote worksite for the majority of their working week. The opportunity to work from a remote worksite is subject to the University's operational requirements. It is not always appropriate for a staff member to carry out part or all of their duties from a remote worksite and a request to do so may be refused or limited.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(2) A remote worksite is defined as:

  1. a Charles Sturt University campus other than the staff member's base campus as set out in their employment contract;
  2. the staff member's normal place of residence; and
  3. a fieldwork site that is a public place/institution.
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Section 3 - Policy

Principles

(3) There are a number of principles that guide decisions about remote work:

  1. Students are vital to the University's ongoing success and a student-centred approach is required to ensure the continued strength of the institution.
  2. The University seeks to foster a collaborative approach to work in which all staff members contribute to the life and responsibilities of a faculty/division/centre/office or school/section. Staff members are expected to participate fully in the collegial activities of their faculty/division/centre/office or school/section.
  3. The University seeks to optimise the use of its resources, including staff, finances and facilities.
  4. Staff members are expected to attend campus for the duration of the working week. A staff member's decision to reside at a distance from their base campus does not release them from this expectation. However, in limited circumstances, alternative arrangements may be approved.
  5. Requests for remote work will be considered on a case by case basis and must be approved by the Delegated Officer (Band 7 - Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent) in advance.
  6. A staff member's remote work arrangements should not have a significant impact on the work of their colleagues or faculty/Division/centre/office/School/section and should be cost neutral for the University.

Considerations of Requests to Work Remotely

(4) It is not always appropriate for a staff member to carry out their duties from a remote worksite and a request to do so may be refused or limited. If an agreement has been reached for a staff member to work remotely, there will be times when they will be required to attend campus.

(5) Remote work arrangements will be for a maximum of two years. Such arrangements may be renewed for a further period, however, renewal is not guaranteed. In addition to consideration of whether renewal is appropriate, remote work arrangements will be monitored on at least a six monthly basis by the Delegated Officer (Band 6 - Head of School/Director or equivalent) and may be revoked at any time with six weeks' notice.

(6) The following type of work may not be suitable to be performed remotely:

  1. work that is predominantly student or client facing;
  2. work that involves the provision of services during specific opening hours;
  3. work that requires a high degree of supervision or has supervisory responsibilities;
  4. work that requires a high degree of teamwork, where it would be difficult to accommodate this via the use of technology;
  5. work that requires on-campus access to University-based information, equipment, systems or facilities;
  6. work that requires the staff member to service University facilities/assets; and
  7. work where the staff member has little control over the workflow or demands of the job.

(7) In considering a request to work remotely, the University will take into account:

  1. the operational needs of the University, including the effect on students, clients, colleagues and staff under supervision;
  2. the reasons for the request; and
  3. the nature of the work performed and the suitability of the staff member to work autonomously.

(8) In terms of suitability for remote work, the staff member must have demonstrated:

  1. self-motivation, time management and organisational skills;
  2. the capacity to work independently;
  3. a collegial approach to work; and
  4. a record of satisfactory work performance.

(9) Home-based work cannot be used as a means of ongoing childcare in place of normal care arrangements. Staff members are responsible for ensuring that appropriate child care or dependent care arrangements are in place whilst engaged in home-based work. However, the University recognises that, in some instances, home-based work may provide the flexibility for a staff member to accommodate extraordinary caring responsibilities for a limited time.

Approval of Remote Work

(10) Remote work requires the prior:

  1. approval of the Delegated Officer (Band 7 - Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent);
  2. completion of a Remote Work Agreement;
  3. completion of a satisfactory Work Health and Safety (WHS) Checklist for Remote Work in the case of remote work from the staff member's place of residence; and
  4. that documentation is forwarded to hr@csu.edu.au for inclusion on the staff member's file.

(11) Where a Remote Work WHS Checklist is required, the staff member must complete a satisfactory Checklist prior to commencement of the arrangement and on an annual basis thereafter. The Delegated Officer (Band 6 - Head of School/Director or equivalent) must review the Checklist to assess compliance and determine suitability of the home-based worksite based on the staff member's responses. If the Delegated Officer (Band 6 - Head of School/Director or equivalent) is not satisfied with the responses on the Checklist, remote work will not be approved.

(12) If a request to work remotely is refused by the Delegated Officer (Band 6 - Head of School/Director or equivalent), the staff member may ask that the matter be referred to the Delegated Officer (Band 7 - Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent) for further consideration. The decision of the Delegated Officer (Band 7 - Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent) shall be final.

Approval Flowchart

(13) See Associated Documents - Remote Work Approval Flowchart.

Conditions of Remote Work

(14) In the event that the Delegated Officer (Band 7 - Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent) approves an application for remote work, the following conditions will apply in conjunction with the terms and conditions contained in the Remote Work Agreement.

Work to be undertaken remotely and communication

(15) During the hours in which the staff member is working remotely, the staff member is required to:

  1. perform only their employment duties and not to conduct personal business; and
  2. be contactable, visible, connected and accountable to the relevant faculty/division/centre/office or school/section and the University by means of agreed communication methods as specified in the Remote Work Agreement.

Equipment and utilities for remote worksite

(16) Any equipment required for remote work is the staff member's responsibility.

(17) The staff member must gain approval to use University equipment at the remote worksite.

(18) The staff member must have unfettered access to any University equipment used at the remote worksite and to any personal equipment required for remote work.

(19) The staff member must have a suitable broadband connection at the remote worksite.

(20) The University assumes no responsibility for the staff member's personal equipment and property at the remote worksite.

(21) Equipment owned or leased by the University:

  1. will remain the property of the University and will be maintained by the University; and
  2. will be used for the sole purpose of the remote work by the staff member only.

(22) On termination of a Remote Work Agreement, all equipment owned or leased by the University must be promptly returned to the University in good condition, fair wear and tear excepted.

Expenses

(23) The faculty/division/centre/office or school/section (as applicable) will provide appropriate consumables.

(24) The staff member is responsible for any additional costs associated with the remote work arrangement. This includes the cost of compliance with any work health and safety requirements, together with utilities, telephone and internet connection, any necessary telephone calls, and travel expenses as set out in clauses 27-28 of this Policy.

Security

(25) The staff member must take all reasonable precautions necessary to secure University equipment and maintain the confidentiality of University information.

(26) Without limitation to clause 25, wherever remote work arrangements involve access to University resources and computer networks, then the staff member must comply with the University's Computing and Communications Facilities Use Policy.

Travel

(27) Travel between the remote worksite and the base campus is the responsibility of the staff member.

(28) In relation to travel to other campuses and work locations, the University will be responsible for expenses up to the cost of travel from the base campus to the other campus or work location and the staff member will be responsible for any travel expenses in excess of this limit.

Insurance

(29) The staff member will be covered by the University's workers' compensation insurance policy while undertaking approved periods of University work at the approved remote worksite.

(30) The remote worksite will be deemed the workplace and all other areas of the dwelling will not normally be classified as the workplace.

(31) The staff member is responsible for making enquiries as to the effect (if any) of the Remote Work Agreement and this Policy on the staff member's home, contents and public liability insurance, mortgage or leasing arrangements and taxation, and must bear any additional costs incurred as a result of the Remote Work Agreement and this Policy.

Remote worksite access and inspection

(32) The staff member must permit access by the University to their remote worksite upon reasonable notice to the extent reasonably necessary for the purposes of the Remote Work Agreement and this Policy, including for the purpose of:

  1. assessing and monitoring security arrangements in respect of equipment and information;
  2. work health and safety inspections and risk assessments;
  3. incident investigation;
  4. supervision; and
  5. removal, repair, servicing or replacement of University equipment.

(33) The University will seek consent from the staff member prior to such access, and such consent must not be unreasonably withheld.

(34) Apart from the circumstances set out in clause 32 of this Policy, no face to face meetings should be held at the remote worksite.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(35) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

(36) Nil.