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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. 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 a place other than the Charles Sturt University base campus as set out in the staff member’s employment contract.

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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, school, division, section, centre or office. Staff members are expected to participate fully in the collegial activities of their area, which includes the equitable sharing of campus-based responsibilities.
  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 under this policy.
  5. Remote work that is regular and systematic requires the completion and approval of a Remote Work Agreement as outlined in this policy. A formal agreement is not required for ad-hoc arrangements.
  6. Prior to completing a Remote Work Agreement, the staff member must obtain in-principle endorsement from their supervisor. A staff member's remote work arrangements should not have a significant impact on the work of their colleagues or faculty, school, division, section, centre or office and should be cost neutral for the University. 

Considerations of requests to work remotely

(4) If an agreement has been reached for a staff member to work remotely, there may be times when they will be required to attend campus.

(5) Remote work arrangements will ordinarily be for a maximum of two years unless specified otherwise. 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 Head of School/Director or equivalent (Band 6) and may be revoked at any time with a minimum two 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 or would require additional arrangements that add to the workload of the team,
  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, and the impact of multiple requests within one team or work group,
  2. the reasons for the request, and
  3. the nature of the work performed and the suitability of the staff member to work autonomously.
Where a request is refused, the reasons shall be provided in writing to the staff member.

(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,
  4. a record of satisfactory work performance, and
  5. the remote worksite is fully equipped and ergonomically sound, complying with all work health and safety requirements. 

(9) The University recognises that in certain circumstances, staff members have the right to request flexible working arrangements and that in some instances, home-based work may provide the flexibility to accommodate extraordinary caring responsibilities for a limited time. However, home-based work cannot be used as a means of meeting ongoing childcare and/or other carer responsibilities. Staff members are responsible for ensuring that appropriate child care or dependent care arrangements are in place whilst engaged in home-based work.

Approval of remote work

Note: Refer to clause 3 of the Delegations and Authorisations Policy for the positions authorised with Band 6 or Band 7 approval levels.

(10) Remote work requires the prior:

  1. endorsement of the Head of School/Director or equivalent (Band 6),
  2. written approval of the Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent (Band 7),
  3. completion of a Remote Work Agreement including a satisfactory Remote Work WHS guide/checklist in the case of remote work from the staff member's place of residence, and
  4. submission of any endorsement, written approval, agreement and checklist (created under clause 10 a., b., and c.) to dpc@csu.edu.au, for inclusion on the staff member's file.

(11) An updated Remote Work WHS guide/checklist is required on an annual basis thereafter. The Head of School/Director or equivalent (Band 6) must review the checklist to assess compliance and determine suitability of the home-based worksite. If the Head of School/Director or equivalent is not satisfied, remote work will not be approved. 

(12) If a request to work remotely is refused by the Head of School/Director or equivalent (Band 6), the staff member may ask that the matter be referred to the Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent (Band 7) for further consideration. The decision of the 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 Executive Dean/Executive Director or equivalent (Band 7) 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, school, division, section, centre or office 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 and appropriate asset records must be maintained. 

(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, school, division, section, centre or office (as applicable) will provide appropriate consumables such as reasonable stationery items.

(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) For staff working away from campus who are ‘attached’ to a base campus the following applies:

  1. Travel to the base campus is the responsibility of the staff member and no travel or accommodation expenses will be covered by the University. 
  2. For travel to other campuses and work locations, the University will be responsible for expenses up to the cost of travel from the staff member’s base campus (not the off-campus worksite) to another campus or work location and the staff member will be responsible for any travel expenses in excess of this limit.
  3. For travel to other campuses and work locations, the University will be responsible for expenses up to the cost of travel from the staff member’s base campus (not the off-campus worksite) to another campus or work location and the staff member will be responsible for any travel expenses in excess of this limit. 

(28) For staff members whose employment contract specifies an off-campus worksite, travel between their off-campus worksite and any campus or location can be supported with the usual travel approval. 

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.