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Human Resources Policies
UMB TELEWORK POLICY
Human Resources | Approved February 1, 2012
The purpose of this Telework Policy (“Policy”) is to state University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) policy for allowing employees of UMB to work from an approved offsite location (usually the employee's home or a satellite office) on one or two selected workdays in a workweek.
a. Telework: work at a location approved by UMB, other than the employee's customary worksite at the UMB campus or another workplace provided by UMB.
b. Eligible Employee: any Regular or Contingent Category II employee (full time or part time) who holds a position which includes duties that have been determined by the employee's supervisor to be suitable for Telework. This policy does not apply to faculty.
c. Teleworker: an employee who is regularly scheduled, for one or two day(s) per workweek, to Telework.
d. Episodic Telework Event: a nonrecurring situation ordinarily of no more than 2 pay periods in duration in which an employee may Telework due to extraordinary personal or work circumstances that will benefit the operations of the employee's organization. Examples are: (1) an employee's medical condition precludes the employee from traveling to the workplace but does not hamper the employee's ability to perform eligible work from an offsite location. (2) An intense or demanding critical work assignment can best be performed from an offsite location where the distractions of a normal office environment will not reduce the employee's effectiveness.
3. POLICY AND EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION
Telework is a voluntary work arrangement arrived at by agreement of the supervisor and employee. Telework arrangements are not an employee right or entitlement. The primary determinant in considering a potential Telework arrangement is an evaluation of the duties to determine the suitability of Telework. An employee must initiate a proposal for a Telework arrangement. A supervisor must have a sound and documented basis for approving an employee's Telework proposal.
The following criteria shall be utilized in the supervisor's evaluation of a request for Telework:
i. The position or duties to be performed in the offsite location must be suitable for Telework as determined by the supervisor. For Telework to be approved, a position must include primarily tasks that can be performed away from the workplace without requiring significant off-site use of UMB equipment or supplies, and without compromising confidentiality of UMB information, as applicable. Such tasks may include, but are not limited to: data analysis, reviewing grants/contracts, writing decisions/reports, setting up conferences, data entry, word processing, or telephone-intensive tasks.
ii. The employee must have a performance rating of at least "meets standards" in all categories of the employee's performance to date in the current performance rating cycle and, if available, in the prior performance year cycle.
iii. The employee must have a track record of performing work accurately and efficiently without the need for close supervision.
iv. If extensive public contact or interaction with coworkers is required, the employee must propose to the supervisor's satisfaction how the employee can meet the requirements for necessary face-to-face contact, meetings, or other types of contact required by the job.
v. The employee must be computer literate, have an available and suitable designated work space at the offsite location, and have access to the computer and telecommunications equipment necessary for the completion of tasks. All costs incurred by an employee to arrange a Telework site and to Telework are the employee's expenses and will not be reimbursed (e.g., telephone call charges; internet service at home; home office equipment and software). UMB-owned software may be installed on the employee-owned computer subject to license agreements and, if no longer deemed necessary by the supervisor to the employee's work assignment, must be removed upon termination of the Telework arrangement.
vi. The work required by the position must be measurable quantitatively, and the quantity and quality of work performed during Telework days should be measured in comparison to the work done in the office before and during periods of approved Telework. For project-oriented tasks, quantitative measurement may be replaced with: comparison of results to the established objective(s) of the tasks; adherence to a deadline or due date; and progress or status reports/meetings.
vii. A need to have access to confidential hard copy data or physical files, or files stored external to the UMB network may preclude an employee from eligibility for Telework.
b. Proposed Telework Schedules
Unless otherwise agreed to, or required, by the supervisor, the work schedule of the Teleworker will be the same as the employee's work schedule in the customary worksite, including meal breaks and rest periods. During the approved Telework schedule, the employee must be available to be reached at the offsite location via telephone and email. At the discretion of the supervisor, the employee may Telework on designated day(s) each workweek, or on different day(s) each workweek, as scheduled by the supervisor to insure continuity of office/unit operations.
c. Telework Requirements
i. Telework arrangements are subject to termination at any time with a reasonable amount of notice at the discretion of either the supervisor or the employee.
ii. A Telework schedule cannot be established or continued by an employee if the employee would have child or dependent care responsibilities during a scheduled day of Telework. During a Telework day, an employee's attention should be devoted entirely to work.
iii. Attendance at the primary workplace for on-site meetings, conferences, training sessions and similar activities may be required on scheduled Telework days at the sole discretion of the supervisor. Transportation and parking costs for such attendance are the employee's responsibility.
iv. Advanced supervisory approval must be obtained for any annual or holiday leave to be taken during scheduled Telework days, or any overtime to be worked by the Teleworker after scheduled Telework hours/days. A Teleworker must notify the supervisor in advance of taking personal or sick leave during scheduled Telework hours.
v. Supervisors are encouraged to require Telework employees to provide written reports of activities they performed or accomplished on Telework days.
vi. Before proposing a Telework schedule, employees are urged to take the online eLearning course entitled, "Before Telecommuting Basics: Maximizing Productivity as a Remote Employee." This course is available on the UMB Human Resource Services (HRS) website.
vii. Before evaluating or approving a Telework request, supervisors should take the same online course.
4. TELEWORK AGREEMENT (Procedures for documenting the telework arrangements of employees represented by the union may be found in the appropriate memorandum of understanding).
a. Once a position and/or duties have been identified as suitable for Telework, the supervisor and employee shall develop and sign a Telework Agreement (an example is attached) which outlines the terms and conditions between employee and supervisor and the duration of the Telework arrangement. The Department Head must approve the Telework Agreement. Additional documentation must also be completed and be approved by the Department Head before a Telework arrangement may be implemented. The additional documents are:
i. An Offsite Workplace Self Certification Checklist (copy attached - verifies that the offsite worksite is suitable and functional for employee completion of assigned tasks); and,
ii. A written Telework Plan identifying the work/tasks to be completed by the Teleworker at the offsite workplace.
b. Telework Agreement is limited to the current supervisor/employee reporting relationship and is not guaranteed to continue into a new supervisory or reporting relationship.
c. Supervisors may seek assistance from Employee/Labor Relations, HRS as needed to develop appropriate Telework agreements. Supervisors should provide a copy of final Telework Agreements to HRS for inclusion in its filing system.
d. Supervisors should review continuing Telework Agreements on at least an annual basis.
NOTE: Episodic Telework Events do not require the execution of a UMB Telework Agreement and preparation of the checklist and Telework Plan. However, that documentation or a variation may be requested by the supervisor in considering the request to approve Telework during an Episodic Telework Event.
5. TELEWORKER RESPONSIBILITIES
a. The Teleworker's duties, responsibilities, conditions of employment, salary and benefits are not affected by Telework. All work hours (and overtime compensation where applicable) and leave usage will continue to conform to the established UMB policies and procedures as well as to the executed Telework Agreement.
b. UMB's policies, including but not limited to, its Code of Ethics and Conduct, disciplinary procedures, and drug and alcohol policies all remain in force and are not affected by the employee's status as a Teleworker. UMB may take appropriate disciplinary action against the Teleworker for failure to comply with the provisions of the Telework Agreement, this Policy, or other policies, during approved Telework days.
c. The Teleworker will identify a workspace at the Teleworker's off-site location. The Teleworker must agree that the identified workspace is subject to UMB inspection during the Teleworker's normal work hours.
d. Remote access to UMB confidential data or sensitive information must be used through CITS-approved campus secure connections and can only be transferred to secure hard drives, networks and/or mobile devices, etc. Teleworkers should consult CITS Enterprise policies for Remote Access, Acceptable Use, Anti-Virus, and IT Security.
6. ATYPICAL TELEWORK SITUATIONS
This Policy addresses typical in-state Telework situations of no more than 2 days per workweek or 40% of an employee's scheduled work hours. In very rare instances, a regular Telework schedule exceeding two days per workweek or 40% of hours may be significantly beneficial to UMB.
a. In those instances, the proposed Telework schedule and agreement must be approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President, and reviewed and approved by the Executive Director, HRS. Additional documentation regarding the benefit of the Telework arrangement to UMB will be required.
b. If the employee's proposed off-site location is out-of-state and the regular Telework schedule exceeds two days per workweek or 40% of work hours, UMB Risk Management must be consulted prior to a Telework Agreement being signed as there may be additional required reporting and/or costs.
7. SITUATIONS NOT ADDRESSED BY THIS POLICY
This Policy does not authorize off-site work agreements for employees who do not live within reasonable commuting distance of the campus or another assigned UMB workplace.
For information and advice about the interpretation and application of this Policy, please contact UMB HRS at 410-706-7302.