Sec. 1 Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to provide for the administration of the telecommuting program for The University of Texas System.
Sec. 2 Policy Statement
It is the policy of the U. T. System to allow telecommuting on a discretionary basis. Before a department and employee may enter into a telecommuting agreement, the Chancellor or his designee must authorize the individual to perform work from a remote site. Employee participation in telecommuting is entirely voluntary. A department may not require an employee to telecommute and an employee may not demand the “right” to telecommute.
Sec. 3 Applicability
This policy applies to regular Classified and Administrative and Professional employees.
Sec. 4 Eligibility Criteria
An employee interested in telecommuting must meet the following eligibility criteria:
a) have a demonstrated ability to work well with minimal supervision;
b) have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the job tasks and operations for which he or she is responsible;
c) have a history of reliable and responsible accomplishment of work duties; and
d) have demonstrated ability to establish priorities and manage his or her time.
Sec. 5 Jobs Functions Acceptable for Telecommuting
A job function acceptable for telecommuting is one that can be performed at a remote site without diminishing the quality of the work or disrupting the productivity of an office.
Sec. 6 Approval
6.1 A request for a telecommute agreement is completed (on-line) by the employee and is forwarded to his/her manager for approval. Once approved by the manager the final request for approval will be sent to the Chancellor or his/her designee, generally the Executive Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor responsible for the requesting employee/manager.
6.2 Once approvals have been obtained the agreement is sent to the Office of Employee Services (OES). OES will ensure that the Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS) has access to active telecommuting agreements.
6.3 A telecommuting agreement may remain in effect for the duration of employment in the position identified in the agreement, unless terminated in accordance with the procedures described elsewhere in this policy. A new agreement must be completed if an employee changes positions.
Sec. 7 Employment Relationship
All forms of telecommuting imply an employer/employee relationship, with the employee receiving the same benefits and having the same responsibilities as a non-telecommuting employee. Employee benefits including leave time, holidays, compensation etc., are not affected by an employee’s telecommuting.
The telecommuting agreement does not constitute an employment contract and does not create a property interest in employment
Sec. 8 Schedule Criteria
8.1 The specific time schedule for the telecommuting employee will be worked out between the employee and the supervisor, and recorded in the telecommuting agreement. The telecommuting employee must be available for contact during scheduled work time as if the employee were working in the designated headquarters. Contact may include telephone, fax, network access, pager, or email. The employee and supervisor will agree on how to handle communications and messages.
8.2 The operational needs of the U. T. System take precedence over telecommuting agreements. A telecommuting employee must forego telecommuting if needed in the office on a regularly scheduled telecommuting day, but the individual should be given as much notice as is reasonably possible. A supervisor may allow for flexibility in scheduling the specific days of the week used for telecommuting and allow week-to-week flexibility to meet changing needs.
Sec. 9 Termination of Participation
9.1 The telecommuting arrangement is voluntary and may be terminated at any time with 10 days written notice by either party.
9.2 The U. T. System may terminate the telecommuting agreement for cause without prior notice.
9.3 When the telecommuting agreement is terminated, the employee must immediately return to the U. T. System all notes, data, reference materials, sketches, drawings, memoranda, reports, records, equipment, software, supplies, and any other System-owned property in the employee’s possession or control.
9.4 The U. T. System will not be held responsible for costs, damages, or losses associated with the termination of the telecommuting agreement.
Designated Headquarters - the employee’s usual and customary U. T. System work address.
Telecommuting - working from a remote site, such as a private home, instead of commuting to a designated headquarters. Emphasis is placed on information or communication exchanged through telephones and remote devices such as computers and fax machines to allow an employee to work at a remote workplace.