Optional Working Hours System (Op-Time)

Policy HR & Staff Development Optional Working Hours System (Op-Time)

Print Friendly and PDFPrint Friendly

Intent

To provide employees with a system of flexible, family friendly working hours allowing variable start and finish times and the provision of periodic rostered days off duty.

Scope

The University operates a system of Optional Working Hours (known as Op-Time) for permanent and temporary full time members of employees classified at HEWL 1-9, research assistants and senior research assistants whose appointment is for a period of at least six months.

Definitions

For the purposes of this document:

"Agreement" - the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement 2010 or successor agreements.

"Continuing Employee" - an employee under an appointment which, by the terms thereof, may continue without renewal (other than at the end of a probationary period).

"Employee" - a full time permanent employee or a full time temporary employee whose appointment is for a period of at least six months, and includes such an employee who is serving a probationary period.

"Temporary Employee" - an employee other than a continuing employee.

Policy and Procedures

1. Principles

Employees may be permitted to work a system of optional working hours to be known as "Op-Time" subject to the following general conditions being met:

  • The work of the University will be carried out effectively;
  • Services will continue to be provided without detriment to students, staff and/or the general public;
  • Work will be properly supervised at all times.

In addition, it should be noted:

  • That, because of the abovementioned constraints, it may not be possible for some employees to work Extended Op-Time; and
  • That the University reserves the right to require an employee working Extended Op-Time to return to normal hours.

2. Op-Time Rules

The Human Resources Office must be advised of a staff member's approved ordinary hours of work. After completion of Optional Working Hours for New Employees Form (OP3) in consultation with the College Dean, the form must be returned through the College Dean to the Directorate of Human Resources and Staff Development.

Staff wishing to vary existing Op-Time arrangements are required to complete the Application to Vary Approved Op-Time Hours Form (OP4).

Staff should note the following special points regarding Extended Op-Time:

  • If a staff member is working Extended Op-Time and is sick on an Op-Day, Sick Leave is not able to be claimed for that day. (The situation is regarded in the same way as illness on a Saturday or a Sunday);
  • A staff member may at some time be required by their Supervisor to work on a day approved as an Op-Day, and an alternative Op-Day may not be available in that four week period. (This may occur when the planned Op-Day is the last day in a four week period. In such cases, the time actually worked will be regarded as overtime and should be so indicated on the "Record of Working Times" form. Note that an "Overtime - Request for Approval" form must be completed and approved by the employee’s supervisor prior to the overtime being worked;
  • Each Op-Day must be taken within the four week period in which it is "earned". It may not be deferred until a later period, nor may an Op-Day from a later period be anticipated;
  • Leave applications do not have to be completed in respect of Op-Days. The actual day to be taken as an Op-Day is to be mutually agreed upon between the Supervisor and the staff member prior to the Op-Day being taken. When the Op-Day is actually taken, the "Record of Working Times: form is to be endorsed Op-Day. A staff member must not sign on and off on an Op-Day unless actually required to work on that day.

A schedule of the four week periods for the current year is also available from the Directorate of Human Resources and Staff Development to assist in planning the taking of Op-Days, for staff granted approval to work Extended Op-Time.

The times shown in the attachments to the Op-Time procedures are times of commencing and finishing work, not times for arriving at and departing from the University; and that the times to be shown on the "Record of Working Times" form are commencing and finishing times, not arrival and departure times.

3. Basic Op-Time

Employees may elect, with the approval of their Supervisor, to work one of a number of optional sets of ordinary working hours. Once an employee's elected option is approved, those hours become, from a specified date, the employee's fixed ordinary working hours and Human Resources are to be advised immediately and prior to such date.

Where an employee is required by a Supervisor to work additional hours outside these ordinary working hours, this will be regarded as overtime and the conditions set out in the Enterprise Agreement will apply.

Before approving proposals by employees to work Basic Op-Time, the Supervisor will ensure that the Principles of Op-time will be met. The available options for Basic Op-Time are set out below.

3.1 Basic Op-Time - Ordinary Working Hours - Options

a. All Employees Permitted a Spread of Hours of 6.00 am To 6.00 pm Who Work 36.25 Hours per Week

6.00am - 2.00pm

8.00am - 4.00pm

6.15am - 2.15pm

8.15am - 4.15pm

6.30am - 2.30pm

8.45am - 4.45pm

8.30am - 4.30pm

8.45am - 4.45pm

6.45am - 2.45pm

9.00am - 5.00pm

7.00am - 3.00pm

9.15am - 5.15pm

7.15am - 3.15pm

9.30am - 5.30pm

7.30am - 3.30pm

9.45am - 5.45pm

7.45am - 3.45pm

10.00am - 6.00pm

b. Cleaners

6.00am - 2.00pm

c. Security Personnel

No alternatives available.

4. Extended Op-Time (the Nineteen Day Month)

Employees may further elect, again with the approval of their Supervisor, to work a slightly longer working day in order to have one day off, to be known as an "Op-Day" each four weeks. Each Op-Day must be taken by mutual agreement between the employee and the Supervisor in the four week period in which it is "earned". Op-Days may NOT be accumulated.

Where the employee and the Supervisor so agree, the Op-Day may be taken as two half-Op-Days, both of which must be taken within the four week period in which they are earned. For this purpose, a half Op-Day is defined as 3 hours 49 minutes.

The half Op-Day must either commence at the employee's ordinary starting time or finish at the employee's ordinary finishing time. The available options for Extended Op-Time are set out in clause 4.3.

4.1. Extended Op-Time (Recreation Leave)

An employee who is granted approval to work Extended Op-Time (ie. a nineteen day month) will have an entitlement to recreation leave of 24 days per annum in lieu of the current 25 days.

4.2. Extended Op-Time (Personal Leave)

An employee who is ill on an Op-Day may NOT claim personal leave for the Op-Day (ie. the day is treated in the same way as sickness on a Saturday or Sunday).

4.3 Extended Op-Time - Ordinary Working Hours - Options

a. All Employees Permitted a Spread of Hours of 6.00 am To 6.00 pm Who Work 36.25 Hours per Week

6.00am -2.23pm

8.00am - 4.23pm

6.15am - 2.38pm

8.15am - 4.38pm

6.30am - 2.53pm

8.30am - 4.53pm

6.45am - 3.08pm

8.45am - 5.08pm

7.00am - 3.23pm

9.00am - 5.23pm

7.15am - 3.38pm

9.15am - 5.38pm

7.30am - 3.53pm

9.30am - 5.53pm

7.45am - 4.08pm

 

b. Cleaners

6.00 am - 2.23 pm

c. Security Personnel

No alternatives available.

5. Varying of Op-Time Options

A permanent employee who is initially granted approval to work either BASIC OP-TIME or EXTENDED OP-TIME will not normally be permitted to change the selected hours prior to the expiration of a period of 12 months and any subsequent variations will be considered only at 12 monthly intervals.

A temporary employee who is initially granted approval to work either BASIC or EXTENDED OP-TIME will not normally be permitted to change the selected ordinary working hours during the period of appointment or prior to the expiration of a period of 12 months, whichever is the shorter period.

An employee or the Supervisor may at any time request that, on the grounds of necessity, such employee's hours be varied. Variations will be approved by the College Dean/Director.

6. Shift Workers

Op-time is not available to employees working rostered shifts in accordance with the "Shiftwork" policy.

7. New Employees

A new employee commencing duty will (subject to obtaining the prior approval of the Supervisor to work either Basic or Extended Op-Time) commence working such hours from the beginning of the first full four week period after the granting of such approval. Until that date, the employee will work 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily or such other hours as the Supervisor deems appropriate.

Related Documents, Legislation or JCU Statues

JCU Enterprise Agreement

Optional Working Hours for New Employees (OP3)

Op-time and Pay Calendar (PDF, 97 KB)

Approval Details

NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Policy sponsor:

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval authority:

Human Resources Committee

Approval date:

 

Version no:

17-2

Date for next review:

29/05/2020

Revision History

NOTE: A minor amendment will not result in a change of the next major review date.

Approval date - the date the approval authority approved the establishment, minor or major amendment or disestablishment

Implementation Date - the date the policy was published in the Policy Library and is the date the policy takes effect

Version no.

Approval date

Implementation date

Details

Author

17-209/08/201710/08/2017Mid-year review of HR Policies in line with the HR Operational Plan Item, Deliver Policy Reviews; Fitness for Future Purpose.Deputy Director Human Resources
17-119/01/201727/01/2017Minor amendments to align with current organisation structure and current delegation practiceQuality, Standards and Policy Officer

15-1

23/06/2015

 

Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy Officer

12-1

29/05/2012

29/05/2012

Minor alterations.

 

00-1

31/12/2000

31/12/2000