Flexible work options

Flexible work options benefit the whole university community and enable our staff to achieve results in the most productive and efficient way possible while balancing their work commitments with personal priorities.


Providing flexible working options at our University plays an integral role in developing opportunities for increased staff satisfaction, retention, engagement, and sustained organisational knowledge.  A flexible workplace is one that recognises the competing demands of its employees in balancing work commitments with personal priorities. Our University has many options available to staff who require flexible working arrangements and I encourage staff to discuss these options with their Manager, Senior HR Partner or HR Advisor.  When properly managed, flexible working arrangements serve to benefit the overall productivity of our University.

Professor Barney Glover
Vice-Chancellor and University President


The University provides many short and long-term provisions and practices that accommodate flexible work options for staff in a variety of circumstances.  This flexibility may relate to when, where and how work is done.  As an 'Employer of Choice for Women', Western Sydney University also recognises that staff may have family responsibilities that necessitate flexible working arrangements.

Through its flexible work options, the University aims to:

  • Provide a variety of options to assist staff in their late career transitioning;
  • Provide staff who have family commitments with options to structure their annual work cycle to enable them to manage better their commitments; and
  • Provide the University with strategies to manage succession planning and retain valued staff in a variety of ways whilst planning future workforce alignment requirements.

For more information see the Flexible Work for Staff Fact Sheet (PDF, 57 KB)  (opens in a new window) or visit the Flexible Working Arrangements (opens in a new window) page on the Equity and Diversity website.

The following flexible work options are available to both Academic and Professional staff:


Late Career Transitioning

Due to the age demographic of staff within Australian universities, it is acknowledged that within the next first to ten years a large number of staff will wish to retire or change their work profile in some form. To address this challenge, Western Sydney University has taken steps to provide flexible late career transitioning options for staff.

Transitioning to fractional appointment with full-time superannuation benefit for a fixed period

The University recognises that there may come a time when staff may wish to move from existing full-time to part-time work as part of a plan towards their retirement.

Arrangements approved under the application of these guidelines will provide individual staff members with the means to ease towards retirement whilst maintaining full superannuation benefits. The subsequent retention of their skills, wisdom, knowledge and experience can be utilised by the University for supporting teaching, student learning, research and the mentoring of new staff. The gradual transition of existing staff into retirement will also help facilitate succession planning and institutional regeneration.

Staff aged 52 and over may apply to reduce their work profile to a fractional appointment of between 0.5 fte and 0.8 fte and continue to pay their employee superannuation contribution at 7% of the full-time salary rate and continue to receive the employer superannuation contribution at 17% of the full-time salary rate.

Eligibility and conditions

  • Transitioning to an alternative work profile via a change to fractional appointment with superannuation incentive benefit will be available to ongoing staff who are aged 52 and over at the time of entering into the contract.
  • Management reserves the right to accept or decline any application.
  • Staff should discuss their application with their manager in the first instance and have further discussions as necessary with their Director/Dean/Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President or Vice President to discuss their possible application.
  • The University retains the right to negotiate and to determine the fractional work profile with each staff member.
  • Transitioning to an alternative work profile via a change to fractional appointment with superannuation incentive benefit may be approved for a maximum of 3 years.

Exclusions
Staff on fixed-term contracts and staff on casual contracts are ineligible. All senior management staff are ineligible (VC & P, DVC & VP, VP, PVC, Deans, Directors).

Process

1. Application
In the first instance, staff considering applying for a reduction in their work profile to fractional hours with superannuation incentive benefit must discuss their application with their manager. Requests should then be made in writing, nominating the preferred date to commence the new work profile, the fractional work profile sought and the length of time for the new profile to be worked, to the staff member's Director, DVC & VP, VP,  PVC or to the staff member's Dean or Director of Research Centre.

2. Approval
The Vice President (People and Advancement) has the authority to approve applications for change to fractional contracts with superannuation incentive benefit. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application within 3 weeks of the date of lodgement of their application with the Office of People and Culture.

Late career transitioning via post-retirement contract

A post retirement contract allows staff who have decided upon a retirement date to return to work post retirement on an agreed contract. Negotiating a post-retirement contract allows staff to access their full superannuation benefit whilst remaining in the workforce for an agreed period of time.

The option is open to application by ongoing full-time and part-time members of staff who are eligible for a superannuation pension or part pension at time of application.

This option enables staff to also nominate a reduction in their working hours if they so wish (eg full time to 0.8).

Eligibility and conditions

  • Applications may be made by all ongoing staff who, if their application is approved, will be aged at least 55 at the time their post-retirement contract commences.
  • Management reserves the right to accept or decline any application.
  • The University retains the right to negotiate the post retirement contract conditions.
  • Staff should discuss their application with their manager in the first instance and have further discussions as necessary with their Director/Dean/l/Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President or Vice President to discuss their possible application.
  • Post-retirement contracts may be approved for a maximum of 5 years.
  • Existing superannuation arrangements would cease at the agreed retirement date.
  • Any long service leave and annual leave accrual will be paid out as at the agreed retirement date.

Exclusions

Staff on fixed-term contracts and staff on casual contracts are ineligible. All senior management staff are ineligible ( VC & P, DVC & VP, VP, PVC, Deans, Directors).

Process

1. Application
In the first instance, staff considering applying for a post-retirement contract must discuss their application with their manager.

Requests are then to be made in writing, nominating the proposed length of the new contract [up to a maximum of 5 years ] to their Director, DVC & VP, VP, PVC or to the staff member's Dean or Director of Research Centre.

2. Approval
The Vice President (People and Advancement) has the authority to approve applications. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application within 3 weeks of the date of lodgement of their application with the Office of People and Culture.

Late career transitioning via post-retirement contract on fractional appointment with full-time superannuation benefit

A post-retirement contract allows staff who have decided upon a retirement date to return to work post-retirement on an agreed contract. Negotiating a post-retirement contract allows staff to access their full superannuation benefit whilst remaining in the workforce for an agreed period of time.

A post-retirement contract on fractional appointment with full-time superannuation benefit allows a staff member to access their full superannuation benefit and remain in the workforce for a specified period of time on a fractional appointment, yet continue to pay into full time superannuation at 7% of the full-time salary rate under the terms of their new fractional appointment contract. The University will also pay the full-time employer superannuation contribution at 17% of the full-time salary rate for a period of up to 3 years.

The option is open to application by ongoing members of staff who are eligible for a superannuation pension or part pension at time of application.

Eligibility and conditions

  • Applications may be made by all ongoing staff who, if their application is approved, will be aged at least 55 at the time their post-retirement contract commences.
  • Management reserves the right to accept or decline any application.
  • The University retains the right to negotiate the post-retirement contract conditions
  • Staff should discuss their application with their manager in the first instance and have further discussions as necessary with their Director/Dean/Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Vice President to discuss their possible application.
  • Post-retirement contracts may be approved for a maximum of 5 years.
  • Existing superannuation arrangements would cease at the agreed retirement date.
  • Any long service leave and annual leave accrual will be paid out as at the agreed retirement date.

Exclusions

Staff on fixed-term contracts and staff on casual contracts are ineligible. All senior management staff are ineligible (VC & P, DVC & VP, VP, PVC, Deans, Directors).

Process

1. Application
In the first instance, staff considering applying for a post-retirement contract must discuss their application with their manager. Requests are then to be made in writing, nominating the proposed length of the new contract [up to a maximum of 5 years] to their Director, DVC & VP, VP, PVC or to the staff member's Dean or Director of Research Centre.

2. Approval
The Vice-President (People and Advancement) has the authority to approve applications. Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application within 3 weeks of the date of lodgement of their application with the Office of People and Culture.

Flexible hours of work for Professional staff (Flexi-leave)

The flexible hours of work arrangements, found in the Professional Staff Agreement 2014 - 2017 (PDF, 1384.84 KB) (opens in a new window), applies to all continuing and fixed-term contract general staff, HEW Levels 1-9 inclusive.

Flexi-leave does not apply to casuals, who are paid on an hourly basis.

Staff must use Online Flexi Timesheets to record their hours.  Access to Online Flexi Timesheets can be found by logging into Staff Online.

To assist you, below are some frequently asked questions.

What are the options for my hours of work?

A full-time professional staff member is employed to work 140 hours over a 4-week period (average 35 hours per week):

Staff on 5-7 day rosters may accrue time only in accordance with their rosters. Other staff may elect to work:

  • Standard hours
  • Flexible hours, if the organisational requirements allow.

What do "standard hours" and "flexible hours" mean?

If you work standard hours, you work 7 hours a day, 5 days a week (35 hours a week), without exception.

'Flexible hours' allows you to work more than 7 hours on some days so that you accrue time to take as flexi-leave.

If I elect to work flexible hours, how many flexi-leave days may I take?

Up to two days flexi-leave every 4-week settlement period, if organisational requirements can be accommodated.

You need to talk to your supervisor to discuss whether your preference for a work pattern fit in with the requirements of the work in your area. Flexi-leave may be taken in days or half-days. This applies to part-time staff on a pro-rata basis.

Are there particular times I should be at work? When can I accrue extra time?

On days when you are not on leave (including flexi-leave), you need to be at work between 9.30am and 3.30pm with agreement from your supervisor. These are called the 'core hours'.

You may accrue time between the 'bandwidth', which is 7 am to 6 pm. If you work outside these hours Monday to Friday, your hours will not be counted, unless you have had prior authorisation to work overtime.

You must not work for more than 5 hours without an unpaid meal break of at least half an hour.

May I carryover extra hours in excess of the 140 hours per 4-week period?

A full-time staff member may carry over up to 14 hours credit or debit into the next period (pro-rata for part-time staff).

Accruals in excess of 14 hours are lost and a leave form must be completed for debits in excess of 14 hours. Supervisors need to assist staff to manage their time so that hours are not lost.

What responsibilities do supervisors have?

Supervisors should:
  • Familiarise themselves with the Flexible Hours of Work Agreement and the relevant clause of the Professional Staff Agreement 2014 - 2017 (PDF, 1384.84 KB) (opens in a new window)
  • Discuss with each staff member their hours of work and the organisational requirements of the unit.
  • Ensure they receive timesheets at the end of each 4-week 'settlement' period.
  • Attach copies of any relevant leave forms or authorities for flexi-leave carry overs and overtime forms.

Additional/ paid outside work for academic staff

Additional work or paid outside work is that which attracts income, undertaken in addition to the work specified in the workload agreement or outside the contractual obligations in terms of hours of work.

The details of regulations affecting additional work are in the Academic Staff Agreement 2014 - 2017 (PDF, 1334.55 KB).(opens in a new window)

To assist you, below are some frequently asked questions.

Does this apply to me?

The Academic Staff Agreement applies to all continuing and fixed-term full-time academic staff.

It also applies to part-time academics where the conduct of additional work affects their ability to fulfil their employment duties, as outlined in the workload agreement, where is an association with the University, or where there is a potential conflict of interest.

How much additional work am I allowed to do?

A full-time academic staff member may spend up to an average of one day per week doing additional work.

Do I have to let anyone know, even if the work is unrelated to my University work?

It is essential to inform the Dean (or DVC & VP or VP if not located in a School) of intention to undertake additional work.

What do I need to do?

You need to complete a declaration in relation to additional work on the Additional Work and Disclosure Form (PDF, 76.03 KB) (opens in a new window) and submit to your Dean or DVC & VP or VP.

All Academic Staff need to complete an Additional Work Annual Report Form (PDF, 188.35 KB) (opens in a new window) by the end of November each year.

If the University pays me to do additional work, may I receive payment through a private company?

No, payment must be through the payroll for continuing and fixed-term full-time or part-time staff members. For more details, see the Additional Work Policy. (opens in a new window)