Flexible Work Arrangements at UA
As a student-centered university and academic community featuring a robust campus environment, The University of Alabama’s primary mode of delivering exceptional education, research, and service, as well as conducting administrative functions is on-site and in-person. The University also recognizes that under certain limited and generally exceptional circumstances, allowing flexible work arrangements may support the recruitment and retention of highly qualified employees, allow the University to meet specific strategic business and operational needs more effectively, and/or allow the University to fill positions intentionally established as flexible. Under UA’s policy, Vice Presidents shall have the sole discretion to approve a Flexible Work Arrangement for employees in their areas, and may delegate this authority to a supervisor one level below.
What is a Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA)?
A Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) is a pre-approved arrangement in which an employee performs their regular job duties outside the unit’s standard work schedule, or from an alternative work location without adversely impacting the University’s mission and those we serve. A FWA may be appropriate for some employees and some jobs, but not all employees and all jobs. A FWA is not a right of employment and will not be available to all employees. FWA will only be offered (generally on an exception basis) in some university divisions where business and operational needs will not be adversely impacted and/or may be enhanced by the flexible arrangement.
Flexible Work Arrangements include:
Flexible Work Schedules
A recurring adjustment to the employee’s schedule. Such revised schedules must align with the operational needs of the position and the unit and allow for appropriate oversight of employee work assignments. Managers must ensure that they can provide adequate supervision for work that is performed outside of the unit’s standard work schedule. HR review and/or approval for adjustments to work schedules is not necessary. However, a Flexible Work Agreement must be completed. During weeks in which a holiday falls, or at any other time required by a supervisor, any employee approved for a flexible work schedule may be required to work a standard schedule.
Flexible Work Locations
An approved work location other than the traditional on-site arrangement (e.g., an employee’s home). This adjustment to an employee’s primary worksite may be either short-term or recurring. Positions with regular in-person interactions with students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders will generally not be eligible for flexible work locations. Types of flexible work locations include:
- Remote Hybrid – a work arrangement lasting longer than six weeks approved through the Flexible Work Arrangement Review Process that authorizes an employee to perform their regular job duties from both an on-campus and an approved off-campus location per an established schedule. A Flexible Work Agreement must be completed. Arrangements that are shorter than six weeks may be considered under chapter 11 Section XXVI of the Employee Handbook, entitled Telecommuting.
- Remote Full – a work arrangement approved through the Flexible Work Arrangement Review Process that authorizes an employee to perform their regular job duties on a continuous basis (100% of the time) from an approved remote work location only in situations where mission critical needs must be met, and other viable options do not exist or are significantly limited. Remote full arrangements are expected to be used strategically and generally only in exceptional circumstances. Thus, remote full arrangements should occur infrequently. The duration is until further notice or until the expiration of the agreement. Employees in a remote full status may be required to come to campus for meetings on a regularly scheduled basis, as well as any other times business needs dictate. Employees are to ensure they can be available promptly when such an occasion arises. A Flexible Work Agreement must be completed. Vice Presidents or their designees must notify Human Resources when considering an employee for an out-of-state remote full arrangement to assure compliance with applicable laws.