Reduced Work Week Procedure

Purpose statement

To establish guidelines and provisions for Reduced Work Week arrangements.

Scope

This procedure applies to full-time permanent non-union and contract non-union employees only.

Procedure

Under a reduced work week arrangement an employee works less than the standard weekly hours required for a position with a proportional reduction in salary. The remaining hours for the position may be staffed at regular rates of pay.

Not all jobs or departments are suitable for a reduced work week arrangement due to the nature of the work performed and operational requirements.  Characteristics of jobs that may be eligible for a reduced work week arrangement may include:

  1. work to be completed does not have expected turn-around times or completion deadlines that require the employee’s attendance 5 days a week
  2. tasks that can be completed on a part time basis
  3. results are measurable
  4. project-based work.

Employee characteristics suited to a reduced work week arrangement:

  1. high performer
  2. demonstrated ability to be punctual and maintain regular attendance
  3. has a thorough understanding of their job requirements
  4. demonstrated ability to be self-motivated, well-organized, and disciplined in their approach to work
  5. are able to rearrange personal commitments to around their reduced work week schedule (i.e. medical appointments scheduled on their time off rather than during work hours)
  6. demonstrated ability to effectively prioritize their work and consistently meets all deadlines
  7. demonstrated effective communication skills with their supervisor/manager, customers and co-workers
  8. is flexible and adjusts quickly to customer and co-worker needs
  9. accepts the financial consequences of their decision to work a reduced work week.

Organizational/Operational Considerations:

A Reduced Work Week arrangement may be successful if:

  1. services provided (both internal and external) will not be compromised
  2. the work unit will be able to retain the right mix of people in the office five days a week to meet all job requirements and hours of operation
  3. the employee will be able to be flexible in adjusting work hours and is able to attend last-minute meetings, training sessions, etc. if required by the particular job
  4. the employee is able to temporarily suspend this work arrangement during their department’s busy/peak periods where employees may be required to work extra/different hours
  5. the work unit is able to accept and adapt to change
  6. workloads of co-workers within the unit are not increased or otherwise adversely affected.

Corporate requirements:

  1. employees who would like to be considered for a reduced work week arrangement must first submit a request in writing to their director after consultation with their manager/supervisor.  The decision to allow an employee to work a reduced work week will be made by the director in consultation with employee’s supervisor
  2. director approval is required
  3. job descriptions or job classifications must not be altered – the nature and function of all affected positions must remain intact
  4. there can be no increased labour costs and no significantly increased operational costs as a result of the arrangement.
  5. employees are not permitted to have more than one flexible work arrangement at the same time.  Consideration may be given for exceptional circumstances on a time-limited basis with Commissioner approval.

Documentation requirements:

  1. the duration of the arrangement.
  2. the specific days and hours of work – the employee must work a minimum of three days (21 hours per week).
  3. the effect of the arrangement on the employee’s salary – the employee’s salary will be pro-rated according to the number of hours worked.
  4. the effect of the arrangement on the employee’s insured benefits – benefits will be maintained at 100% by the town although benefits tied to salary are adjusted to the pro-rated salary.  Benefit premiums will be cost shared between the town and employee at the following rates:

Four (4) day work week:  80% paid by town, 20% paid by employee

Three (3) day work week:  60% paid by town, 40% paid by employee

  1. the effect of the arrangement on the employee’s disability income- disability income is based on the prorated salary.
  2. the effect of the arrangement on paid holidays – prorated based on the reduced work week schedule.
  3. the effect of the arrangement on the employee’s vacation entitlement – prorated based on the reduced work week schedule.
  4. the effect of the arrangement on paid leave of absence days (such as bereavement, jury duty, etc.) – prorated based on the reduced work week schedule.
  5. the effect of the arrangement on approved overtime worked – the employee will be entitled to overtime pay for all hours worked in excess of his or her regular scheduled weekly hours which were in effect prior to the arrangement in accordance with town policies and procedures.
  6. the effect of the arrangement on the employee’s OMERS pension entitlement – OMERS pension entitlement is subject to OMERS regulations regarding years of service.
  7. the employee’s office may be utilized by other staff during absences, at the discretion of the supervisor.
  8. the employee agrees to be flexible with their time and adjust their work hours and days off accordingly to meet business emergencies, demands and requirements.
  9. in the event of the transfer of the employee to a new position or new department, the alternative work arrangement will be cancelled. If the employee wishes to continue the arrangement in the new position, he or she must discuss options with the new supervisor/manager.
  10. the arrangement may be terminated by the employee or the town with reasonable written notice.
  11. The arrangement must be expressly renewed with the approval of the manager/supervisor and director, otherwise it will expire as per the documented end date and the employee will resume their prior work schedule.

Responsibilities

Employee

  1. maintains communication with supervisor, colleagues and clients to the town’s corporate standards.
  2. is self-motivated, well-organized and self-disciplined in their approach to work.
  3. ensures service delivery is seamless to all other parties (internal and external).
  4. the employee agrees to be flexible with their time and adjust their work hours and days off accordingly to meet business emergencies, demands and requirements.
  5. failure to abide by the Reduced Work Week procedure, or associate work rules determined by the supervisor may result in discipline up to and including dismissal.

Supervisor/manager

  1. monitors productivity and maintains communication with the employee regardless of the work hours of the employee.
  2. ensures the approved schedule does not impact job duties, team workload or service levels/hours of the department.
  3. ensures other employees are aware of the arrangement.
  4. ensures service delivery/service provided is seamless to all other parties (internal and external).

Director

  1. approves or denies the reduced work week agreement and schedule submitted by the employee.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: HR-MNG-001-013
Parent Policy: HR-MNG-001
Section: Human Resources
Sub-Section: Manage
Author: Human Resources Department
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2012 Apr 16
Review by Date: 2022