Alternate Work Schedules are a part of the campus Work Integration program and allow staff and departments some flexibility in defining when, where and how work is done. This flexibility is a critical driver of employee well-being and performance and is responsive to the changing professional and personal demographics of the multi-generational workforce. The alternate work schedules available at UCM include the compressed workweek and flextime.
When properly managed, alternate work schedules have been shown to increase productivity, increase employee engagement and retention, provide extended coverage and cross training opportunities, and decrease unplanned absences. In addition, it promotes diversity, and has a positive impact on workplace culture and employee morale. For many people, even a small amount of flexibility can make a tremendous difference in successfully balancing responsibilities at work and at home.
Compressed Work Week
A full-time work schedule that consists of 40 hours in one designated workweek, or 80 hours in two consecutive workweeks. On our campus, alternate work schedules consist of flextime and compressed workweeks. The most common type of compressed workweek schedules are:
- Nine-eighty (9-80): An employee works eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day in the pay period with an extra day off.
- For Tens (4-10): An employee works four 10-hour days each week with an extra day off.
Core Work Hours
Core work hours are the hours when all employees must be at the worksite. Core hours may vary depending upon the requirements of the position and operational needs of the department.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
A federal regulation is used to determine whether a position is either eligible for over-time pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week (non-exempt) or is paid a flat sum for hours worked, even if they exceed 40 hours within a workweek (exempt).
The standard workweek is from midnight Sunday to midnight the following Sunday and is typically eight (8) hours per day on five (5) consecutive days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with one (1) hour for a meal period.
Non-represented employees are eligible to request Workplace Flexibility Arrangements. Represented employees may participate as allowed by their respective collective bargaining agreements. An employee initiates the request for Workplace Flexibility by submitting a proposal to her/his supervisor and/or unit/department head.
- A compressed workweek is not appropriate for all positions, or in all settings, or for all employees.
- A compressed workweek during the probationary period is not advisable because of the need to clarify job responsibilities, establish relationships with co-workers and clients, and assess suitability for continued employment.
- Employees who have problems with punctuality, attendance, and/or performance, or who require close supervision, are not good candidates.
Determining if Compressed Workweek Schedules are Appropriate
- Review the Alternative Work Schedule Considerations.
- A compressed workweek schedule should not negatively affect the workload or productivity of coworkers either by shifting burdens or creating delays and additional steps in the workflow. The supervisor/department head should ensure that other employees in the same unit/department understand how and why compressed workweek schedules function.
- In the event that more employees request compressed workweek schedule arrangements than a unit/department can reasonably manage, the supervisor/department head shall respond to requests that are consistent with these guidelines in ways that are equitable to all employees and in the best interest of the University. Among the measures that might be adopted are rotating turns between employees, staggering schedules, and establishing core work hours.
Managing Compressed Workweek Schedules
- The employee should initiate a request for a compressed workweek by discussing the feasibility of an alternate work schedule with her/his supervisor/department head.
- If the employee and supervisor/department head agree to a compressed workweek arrangement, the employee and supervisor shall complete a written Alternative Work Schedule Considerations.
- The supervisor/department head shall maintain open communication, ensure that the employee’s hours of work do not fall below the normal workweek hours and discuss with the employee any concerns as they arise.
- The employee must note their specific compressed workweek schedule (i.e., 9/80, 4/10, etc.) on their time sheet each month.
- The original Alternative Work Schedule Agreement shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel file, with copies to the employee and the supervisor/department head.
- Compressed workweek arrangements should be initiated on a trial basis, and may be discontinued at any time at the request of either the employee or supervisor/department head. The unit/department reserves the right to suspend the arrangement in the event of unanticipated circumstances regarding employee performance or operational needs.
- Holidays - Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Workday: An eligible fulltime employee receives eight (8) hours per holiday (or prorated amount if less than full time). Therefore, employees must elect to cover the difference through accrued vacation or comp time (if eligible for comp time).
Holidays - Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Flex Day: When a paid holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off, the employee will be paid eight hours (or the prorated amount if less than full time) holiday pay AND be given an alternate 8 hour day off during the same workweek as the holiday. If the alternate scheduled workday is greater than 8 hours, the employee is required to submit accrued vacation or accrued comp time (if eligible for comp time) for the difference.
- Vacation & Sick Leave – Partial Day Absences: Partial day absences that occur as a result of vacation or illness will require charging the number of hours (to the nearest ¼ hour) the employee was absent.
- Vacations and Sick Leave – Absences of at Least One Full Day, But Less Than a Full Week: Full day absences that occur as a result of vacation or illness will require charging the number of hours the employee was normally scheduled to work on the specified day (e.g., an employee is scheduled to work 10 hours and is absent due to a vacation or illness, must have 10 hours of vacation or sick time deducted from his/her leave accruals).
- Vacations and Sick Leave – Absences of a Full Standard Workweek: When leave time is taken for an entire standard workweek, the employee may make an advance request to temporarily revert back to a traditional schedule to ensure no more than 40 hours in any given week is docked from leave accruals. However, in this instance employees will need to transition back to their compressed workweek schedule in the same manner as they did when they initially began their compressed workweek schedule.
- Jury Duty – Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Workday: Jury duty shall be paid for the number of hours in the day that the employee was actually on jury duty, but no more than the number of hours in the employee’s regularly scheduled workday. If jury duty continues for an extended period (longer than one week), the employee will revert back to a standard workweek.
- Jury Duty – Occurring on an Employee’s Regularly Scheduled Flex Day: Jury duty shall not be paid for time spent during an employee’s regularly scheduled flex day, since the employee is not scheduled to work on that day.
Special Rules for Non-Exempt Employees on a 9/80 Compressed Work Schedule
- Restrictions on Switching Flex Days: Non-exempt employees are required to take the same alternating “flex” day off for the length of their compressed workweek schedule (e.g., regular flex day is Monday, cannot switch to Tuesday or any other day) to comply with the definition of a workweek under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). If a non-exempt employee is ill on his/her scheduled flex day, the flex day absence cannot be covered with accrued vacation or sick leave.