What is meant by the demands of the job?
The demands of the job will depend on your position. Generally speaking however, demands of the job are any activity for which you are required to be present (physically, by phone, or by email). Here are some examples of demands of the job:
What are standard departmental hours?
UW business hours are generally considered to be Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Departments across campus are expected to be open for business during these hours. Within the Library, the Circulation Desk is always open for business during these hours and often well beyond. Other library departments have different standard hours depending upon the demands of the job. For example, Facilities is open for business by 7:30 AM because they are responsible for opening the Library each day. Refer to Department Specific Applications for more information about your department’s standard hours.
What is meant by the expectation that individuals are to communicate working hours?
The new guidelines do not have the “core hours” concept that was in the old guidelines. This means that although you may be in the habit of starting work most mornings at 9:00 AM, as long as the nature of your work permits it you could choose to come in to work in the afternoon one day, without needing to book any flex or vacation time. However in some departments a significant change in your normal working day may cause stress if a colleague or supervisor is counting on your normal start time in order to help complete a task. It is simply good communication to notify those who work most closely with you of a significant change in your routine. The specifics of what is “significant” can best be worked out within your work group.
What is considered an unexpected absence?
When you want to take a day off work, you are expected to coordinate the timing with your supervisor and work group. It is understood however that occasionally events occur that cannot be planned in advance, such as:
When such an event occurs to you, you are expected to report your absence as soon as possible and by 9:30 AM at latest. Determining how you record the time is dependent upon the circumstances of the unexpected absence.
Under what exceptional circumstances may department heads approve variations to these guidelines?
The circumstances can be as varied as our jobs and our lives. Generally speaking however, when the demands of your job and/or the demands of your personal life are such that a variation to the guidelines would ease your workload, discuss the circumstances with your supervisor. In consultation with your department head, a short-term variation can be approved by your department head. Long-term variations may need approval beyond your department.
How do I figure out how many hours I need to work in a flextime cycle?
You are paid to work a designated number of hours each week. Therefore, each cycle, you are paid to work that number of hours x 4 weeks. For example,
Flextime allows you to work plus 15 or minus 10 hours from the total without affecting your normal pay.
What is a normal day worked?
You are paid to work a designated number of hours each week over a specific number of days, generally five days. Divide the number of hours per week by the number of days per week to determine a normal day. For example,
NB: in some individual cases, generally associated with part-time or reduced workloads, the normal day may be determined in agreement between you and your supervisor. For example, if you work 30 hours over 4 days, you may work 8 hours on two days each week and 7 hours on two days.
Please note however that if you go home ill during the day, also include a note for your departmental attendance recorder indicating how many hours you were away from work for sick leave. For example,
For general information about sick leave, refer to library guidelines at http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/staff/managers/private/sick_leave_procedures.html
In some cases medical appointments can be recorded as sick leave. For specifics, refer to library guidelines at http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/staff/managers/private/medical_appointments.html
How should I record a library-wide luncheon?
If you attend a library-wide luncheon that exceeds 30 minutes, you should record a 30 minute eating period. The time in excess of 30 minutes is considered time worked.
How do I record attendance at a conference or workshop that takes place over a weekend?
When you are on approved business that extends over the weekend, you can record one or both days as a normal day worked as appropriate.
Are there any rules around taking breaks?
Under provincial legislation, you must take a break – referred to as an eating period – if you work more than five consecutive hours. In addition, regular Ergo Breaks are encouraged throughout the day. During each half day, you are also permitted to take 15 minutes away from your work. Normally, this break would be midway through the morning or afternoon. This break cannot be taken at the beginning or end of the day.
It's nearing the end of the cycle and I am in danger of being under by more than 10 hours. Can I work a full day and also record a half-day vacation on the same day?
The daily maximum is 10 hours, including use of vacation. If you realize as you get close to the end of a cycle that you cannot get your hours up to minus 10, you could change an earlier flex within the same cycle to a vacation day instead or add a half day of vacation on a day when you worked 6.5 hours or less. A vacation day must be associated with a specific work day, rather than tacked on to a cycle.
What is the least number of vacation days that I can use to take a week off?
You can take a week off by using 2 vacations days and by making up the remaining hours, as long as you are not under by more than 10 hours at the end of the flex cycle. You could record the week as follows:
Monday – flex
Tuesday – flex
Wednesday – ½ vacation day
Thursday – ½ vacation day
Friday – vacation day
Do I have to attend a meeting scheduled outside of my preferred working hours?
Demands of the work will sometimes mean being available outside of your preferred working hours. If you are needed at a meeting, then you will need to be available. If you’re not sure if you are required to attend, speak with the meeting organizer or your supervisor.
I need to meet with my lawyer during the day. Is that a problem?
Not necessarily, as long as you also consider the demands of the job, such as a scheduled shift at a service desk. If there are no such demands, you can work your daily hours around the appointment. Remember to inform your department however that you will be away for a period of personal time. Personal appointments such as doctor’s, lawyers and dentists will normally be considered as time not worked.
Do I still record vacation if I get sick while on vacation?
If a person is on vacation and becomes sick, we refer the situation to Nellie Gomes (Human Resources) or Linda Brogden (Occupation Health Nurse) to determine the appropriate way to record the time. Normally their decision is based on if the person was hospitalized (or an equivalent degree of illness), in which case the time would be recorded as sick leave.
How about the reverse: can I go on vacation while on sick leave?
When a person is on sick leave, they must make a full return to work before they can go on vacation. However in some circumstances, mainly if the person has expended money for the vacation, they may be allowed to go on the vacation and if so, the time will be recorded as vacation. Nellie Gomes or Linda Brogden will make this decision (often in consultation with the department) and inform the department to record the time appropriately. If the decision is made that the individual cannot go on vacation, the department must reimburse the staff member’s non-refundable expenditures.
If I haven’t already done so, must I take a 30-minute unpaid eating period immediately upon reaching the 5 hour mark?
Yes, you must. Employment Standards states that an employee must not work for more than five hours in a row without getting a 30-minute eating period (meal break) free from work. Therefore, you need to plan your day such that you do not work for longer than five hours at a stretch without taking an unpaid break.