Work-Flex Program

Approval Date: 2004-06-07

Effective Date: 2013-04-09

Review Date: 2019-05-01

Vice-President (Administration and Finance) through the Director of Human Resources

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To provide different options to employees who are interested in modifying their existing work arrangements to help them address personal wellness or work-life balance needs, for career development/job enrichment purposes, or for other similar reasons.


All permanent non-academic employees of the University, as well as contractual employees who are employed on a contract of six months duration or longer, but does not apply to employees of agencies or separately incorporated entities.


Unit Head - includes Deans, Directors, and other senior administrators at a comparable level or above, including the President, Vice-Presidents and Associate Vice-Presidents.


The University permits certain types of work-flex arrangements as identified in the Permissible Work-Flex Arrangements section. A work-flex arrangement not specifically identified may be recommended by the appropriate Unit Head for approval by the Director of Human Resources.

Any arrangement which is agreed upon between a Unit Head and an employee or group of employees should be documented in writing for the purpose of confirming mutual understanding regarding the details of the arrangement and its duration.

In the case of managers and professional employees, the Work-Flex Program is to be administered in a manner which is consistent with, and does not diminish, the expectation of greater flexibility and extra hours which are inherent in the positions occupied by these individuals, and for which these employees are compensated through an extra allowance of vacation in lieu of overtime.

Unit Heads have the authority under this program to approve requests for flexible working arrangements, provided they are of a type which is permitted under the Permissible Work-flex Arrangements section, and further provided that they meet the following criteria:

a) the reason for the arrangement is consistent with the intended purposes of the Work-Flex Program as outlined in the Purpose section.

b) the arrangement will not reduce the unit's service levels to students, faculty, or any other person or group either within or outside the University;

c) the arrangement will not place an unfair requirement or burden on any other employee(s) in the unit or elsewhere within the University;

d) the arrangement is feasible relative to the working schedules of other employees in the unit or area involved; and,

e) the arrangement must not contravene any provision of the applicable collective agreement if the employee requesting an arrangement is a bargaining unit employee (e.g., scheduling of hours of work, coffee breaks, lunch breaks, etc.).

The Department of Human Resources is responsible for:

a) providing advice and guidance to senior administrators and administrative support personnel regarding the interpretation and administration of the Work-Flex Program; and,

b) analyzing and reporting on the University's experience with this program in relation to its intended objectives, and recommending revisions as appropriate.


1. Reduced Hours of Work
 Reduced Work Week - A reduced work week can take the form of a shorter work day or a shorter work week where the minimum weekly total is 20 hours. Salary and benefits are prorated based upon the number of hours worked.

b) Job Sharing - This involves sharing your position with another employee; the wages and benefits are prorated according to the hours worked. The Department of Human Resources can help you find a job-sharing partner and develop a job-sharing agreement.

c) Part-Time Work - This involves working less than 20 hours/week. It can also be part of a job sharing arrangement. Salary is prorated over the number of hours worked; however, part time workers are not included in the pension or benefit plans.

In the process of reviewing any application in relation to Reduced Hours of Work, Unit Heads will not be obliged to replace reduced hours with other staff on a part-time basis or otherwise, and shall ensure in any event that no additional salary costs are incurred as a result of the proposed arrangement.

An employee who is interested in obtaining approval for a one-time reduction in hours of work through a leave without pay should refer to the University's Leave Without Pay Policy.

2. Short-Term Lateral Position Exchange
Employees may arrange to transfer to lateral positions with the consent of both employees and the respective Unit Heads and should contact the Department of Human Resources for assistance in finding a Position Exchange Partner.

3. Revised Daily Work Schedule
With the approval of the Unit Head, an employee may be permitted to revise his/her regular daily working schedule to reflect a starting time and/or ending time which is different from the employee's normal hours of work schedule, subject to the following conditions:

  • in no circumstances may an employee's daily hours of work be modified to start earlier, or end later, by more than one hour; and
  • there is no increase or reduction in the employee's regularly scheduled weekly hours of work

4. Reduced Lunch Break
With the approval of the Unit Head, an employee with a regularly scheduled lunch break of one hour may be permitted to reduce this lunch period to a half hour for the specific purpose of facilitating either a later starting time or an earlier ending time on designated days during the work week, subject to the following conditions:

  • the employee's reduced lunch period must be regularized and become part of the employee's regular daily work schedule;
  • there is no increase or reduction in the employee's scheduled weekly hours of work; and,
  • the employee will not be entitled to overtime compensation for any extra time worked on a daily basis as a result of this arrangement.

5. Compressed Work Hours
With the approval of the Unit Head, an employee may be permitted to work a compressed work schedule for the purpose of facilitating periods of time off with pay at other times, subject to the following conditions:

  • the extra time worked must not exceed an average of a half hour per day on a weekly basis, and may not exceed a total of 21 unused hours at any point in time;
  • compensatory time off may be taken at times which are mutually agreed upon between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor, subject to the operating requirements of the employee's department or unit;
  • the employee will not be entitled to overtime compensation for the extra daily or weekly hours worked under this arrangement
  • compensatory time off is to be taken at straight time rates; and,
  • there shall be no "banking" or carry-forward of unused time from one fiscal year to the next under any circumstances.
  • Compressed work hours may be achieved by starting earlier in the day, reducing a one hour lunch period to a half hour and/or ending later in the day.

Employees are not permitted to accumulate or "bank" coffee break time for the purpose of Compressed Work Hours or for any purpose under the Work-Flex Program.


For inquiries related to this policy:

Human Resources (709) 864-2434

Sponsor: Vice-President (Administration & Finance)

Category: People Resources

Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s):

Approval Date:2004-06-07, Effective Date:2004-06-07


University Policies

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Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000