Policy: Telecommuting Guidelines
University Policy: Human Resources
Telecommuting is a flexible, voluntary work option that allows employees to work a portion of a normal work week/pay period at an alternative work site on a regular basis as agreed upon in writing between the individual and UW-Platteville for a specified period of time.
UW-Platteville believes extending the work place is a viable alternative work arrangement in certain instances. This voluntary telecommuting program is intended to be an innovative work option that benefits the University as well as the employee. Telecommuting is a cooperative arrangement between the employee and the employer. It is not a basic right of all employees (emphasis added). A telecommuting arrangement is based on the needs of the University and on the employee’s past and present levels of performance.
Telecommuting does not apply to employees who:
· Work at home on a short-term basis; or
• Work at home as either a temporary or permanent reasonable ADA accommodation.
This policy does not apply to faculty; instructional academic staff; graduate assistants, or LTEs. It is applicable to administrative and professional academic staff and university staff.
Telecommuting is allowed within the U.S. only.
Telecommuting is a management tool allowing for flexibility in work options. It does not change the basic terms and conditions (including compensation and benefits) of employment. This voluntary telecommuting policy does not limit the right and ability of the University to require employees to work at alternate work sites.
Employee Selection Criteria and Conditions
At times, and if applicable, a formal written request must be initiated by the employee. As a condition of hire, the supervisor will initiate this form. The unit director/supervisor will review the telecommuting request and will consider the unique circumstances of each request in light of the factors listed below:
1) Needs of the University and department or unit;
2) Employee’s work duties and the ability to set clear and quantifiable objectives in order to measure work performed;
3) Availability and costs of needed equipment;
4) Adequate and appropriate work space at the employee’s home or other off-site location;
5) Employee’s current and past job performance;
6) Employee’s work skills; such as time management, organizational skills, self-motivation, and the ability to work and solve problems independently;
7) Effect on the rest of the work group, unit, department or University;
8) Nature of employee’s duties (ability to perform work off site); and
9) Other items deemed necessary and appropriate by the director/supervisor.
Telecommuting is approved [pre-approved] on a case-by-case basis consistent with the mission of the University and the respective unit/department. Each telecommuting arrangement will be cost-justified and will be reviewed periodically (as stated in the agreement) for continued mutual benefit. Please refer to the telecommuting compatibility worksheet to help determine eligibility.
Telecommuting is not a substitute for dependent care (i.e. childcare, eldercare, etc.).
The role of the managing supervisor is critical to the success of the telecommuting arrangement. The value of participation and contact with co-workers, clients, and supervisors is understood;
thus, the policy may require that telecommuting employees have designated periods of work time on campus.
A telecommuting employee is responsible for maintaining availability, levels of production at the
expected standard, and quality of work at the expected standard while telecommuting. Inadequate availability, reduced work production and/or work quality may be cause for modifications or termination of an employee’s participation in telecommuting and possibly, termination of employment. If applicable, the employee may be required to return to the work place, and the telecommuting agreement will be terminated and/or termination of employment.
The employee understands that effective communication is essential for this work arrangement to
be successful. The employee will be available by phone, email, or fax during scheduled telecommuting work hours. Teleconferencing is a reliable means of communication and may substitute for actual attendance at some scheduled meetings.
The address, telephone number, and description of the worksite at the telecommuting location shall be outlined in the telecommuting agreement. The director/supervisor or designee may make on-site visits to the telecommuter’s location anytime during scheduled work time.
The employee agrees to furnish and maintain the worksite in a safe manner consistent with the requirements of the University and state and federal safety regulations. The worksite shall be subject to safety compliance inspection by University personnel and/or other authorized individuals during scheduled work time or by appointment.
The employee should be available to report to the campus work location, if directed, in a reasonable amount of time should an emergency arise.
The work schedule of the telecommuting employee will be determined by the director/supervisor and will be documented in the telecommuting agreement. Telecommuting employees must have designated periods of work time on-campus, if applicable.
The working of overtime, accrual of compensatory time, accrual and charging of leave time will be subject to the same rules and regulations as are in place at the designated university work location, and must be pre-approved by the director/supervisor.
On a non-telecommuting day, including periods of severe weather or emergency closing, the telecommuting employee may not choose to work at the telecommuting site and receive pay for work at the site unless supervisor approval is received in advance or prior to any work performed at the home work place.
Scope of the Telecommuting Agreement
The employee understands that all obligations, responsibilities, and terms and conditions of
employment with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville remain unchanged, except those specifically addressed in the Telecommuting Agreement. Any breach of the Agreement by the employee may result in modification or withdrawal of telecommuting privileges under the Agreement, termination of the Agreement, and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
No telecommuting agreement can be implemented until approved as follows
Ø Employee completes request and presents it to Director/Supervisor;
Ø Director/Supervisor recommends or supports the telecommuting option for the employee;
Ø Director of Human Resources;
Ø Provost/Vice Chancellor;
The agreement must be signed by the individuals stated above. Copies will be provided to all parties named above, with notification to the Risk Management Officer. A copy will be kept in the employee’s official personnel file.
Termination of Agreement
Normally an employee will be given at least four weeks’ notice before a telecommuting agreement is terminated. However, a director/supervisor may suspend a telecommuting agreement at any time.
Equipment and Information Security
1) University-provided equipment at home is not an entitlement of telecommuting employees.
Depending on the job, equipment needs for telecommuters will vary and are determined by the director/supervisor.
2) Telecommuting employees using university-provided computer hardware and software to perform their jobs must abide by the University’s policies covering information security, software licensing, internet access, and data privacy.
3) Maintenance on university-owned equipment will be performed by a university authorized technician. The employee will be responsible for bringing the equipment to the employer- designated repair location. Necessary maintenance and repairs on university-owned equipment will be performed at the University’s expense.
4) Maintenance and repair of employee-owned equipment is the responsibility of the employee.
The University is not liable for such equipment even if the employee is engaged in university work at the time of malfunction; therefore, the Information Technology department will not be responsible to support and assist with employee-owned equipment.
5) Employees must return all university-owned equipment to the University when requested by their director/supervisor, when the agreement ends, or when employment is terminated.
Confidential or restricted data should not be accessed via a personal device. You will need a university- owned device for access to confidential or restricted data. Reference the “Restricted data” policy available in the ITS knowledgebase for more details. Examples of restricted and confidential data incudes:
· Faculty; staff; student, and vendor, etc.
· Personal information (social security number, etc.);
· Medical and healthcare information;
· Electronic protected health information (EPHI);
· Customer data;
· University financial data;
· Product and/or service plans;
· Details and schematics, network diagrams and security configurations;
· Communications about university legal matters;
· Password management information and/or,
· Bank account information and routing numbers, payroll information other than your own, credit card information, any restricted data held for a third party.
When using employee owned devices, it is expected they employee will take reasonable precautions to keep the machine patched, updated and in good running condition. This is the responsibility of the employee.
If a university device, it should be only used by the university employee and only for business purposes. Please see the university acceptable use policy located in the ITS Knowledgebase.
1) Long distance telephone calls and/or fax transmissions for conducting university business
may be reimbursed upon verification of the expense.
2) Basic office supplies shall be obtained through the normal departmental procurement procedures.
3) Any other expense reimbursement related to telecommuting requires prior approvals by the director/supervisor.
4) Any costs related to remodeling and/or furnishing the work space shall be non-reimbursable and the responsibility of the employee.
5) Any costs incurred traveling to and from the remote work location and the University will be in accordance to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code and may be the sole responsibility of the employee. Employees allowed to telecommute from their home are not eligible for reimbursement of miles from their home to the locations that would have been their assigned headquarters, if they were not telecommuting.
6) Normal household expenses such as heating and electricity shall be non-reimbursable.
Telecommuting may require the employee to take confidential information to the alternate worksite. The employee will take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information.
The employee will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for any injury or illness that arises out of the employee’s work, occurs at the worksite, and occurs during the working hours specified in the agreement. A job related accident/illness during the remote work hours must be reported to the supervisor or other authorized university representatives within 24 hours. When the telecommuting work site is out of state and if the out of state location is the primary work site, a separate policy regarding worker’s compensation is required. Any expense in obtaining this policy will be the unit/department’s responsibility.
The University will insure all university property identified in the Agreement.
The employee agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the University, from and against
any and all claims, demands or liability (including any related losses, costs, expenses and attorney’s fees) resulting from, or arising out of injury to or death of third persons including, but not limited to, the employee’s family members caused directly or indirectly by the employee’s willful misconduct, negligence, or omissions relating to his/her duties and obligations under these guidelines, except where such claims, demands, or liability arise from the University’s negligence.
The tax implications of telecommuting are the responsibility of the employee. The
employee is encouraged to seek professional advice in this area.