UTC Telecommuting Guidelines
To provide guidelines and standards for the establishment of telecommuting arrangements either requested by regular, temporary or student employees in an active pay status or when required by the University.
UT Policy HR0480 – Work Schedules establishes standards for work schedules which accommodate both the business needs of the University and, as feasible, employee requests. Alternate work schedules, such as telecommuting, may be developed and approved by administration in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources. Telecommuting is defined as a work arrangement approved in advance in which an employee works at least part of their work hours off-campus from an alternative location. On an as-needed basis, the University may approve occasional telecommuting arrangements (as defined under Section II.A.1 below) without the establishment of a formal telecommuting agreement.
These guidelines are designed to provide the structure needed for effective implementation and operation of telecommuting arrangements. University administrators and employees are responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of these guidelines. Please submit all Telecommuting Arrangement questions and forms to [email protected].
Telecommuting Arrangement Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is expected to return to campus to support full on-campus operations for fall 2021?
All faculty and staff are expected to return to campus. All staff are expected to return July 1, 2021 or sooner as designated in unit reintegration plans. All faculty are expected to return August 2, 2021.
- Are current work-from-home arrangements impacted by the full on-campus return to work directive?
Yes. All current work-from-home arrangements will be considered expired as of July 1, 2021. Accordingly, all employees currently working under a work-from-home arrangement are expected to return to work on campus on the applicable dates outlined above, unless an employee is newly approved for a telecommuting arrangement that authorizes the employee to continue working remotely after July 1, 2021.
- What is the process for requesting continued remote work as an exception to the full on-campus return for fall 2021?
Any request to establish a telecommuting arrangement that would allow an employee to continue working remotely after July 1, 2021, must be submitted and evaluated in accordance with the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines. The required documentation of any approved telecommuting arrangements must be finalized prior to July 1, 2021 (or such other applicable commencement date for the telecommuting arrangement).
- What is the effective date of the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines?
The UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines became effective April 19, 2021. All guidelines and procedures for evaluating work-from-home arrangement requests that were previously adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be valid as of April 19, 2021.
- Who approves a Telecommuting Arrangement for fall 2021?
All telecommuting arrangements for the Fall 2021 semester must be approved by the appropriate Unit Head, Division Head/Vice Chancellor, and the Office of Human Resources in advance of their effective date (per the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines).
- What factors will be considered during evaluation of Telecommuting Arrangement requests?
All requests for occasional or ongoing telecommuting arrangements will be evaluated based on the factors outlined under the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines. [Please note that Covid-19-related factors outlined in previous guidelines for evaluating work-from-home arrangement requests that were adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic may no longer be considered]. All considerations of requests will include a careful analysis of the essential functions of the position being considered for remote work and the business and operational needs of the unit.
- Are employees who are considered to be high risk for developing serious complications from the COVID-19 virus eligible for consideration of telecommuting arrangements for fall 2021?
As of April 19, 2021, all telecommuting arrangement requests initiated by employees or Unit Heads will be subject to the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines. Employees and supervisors should contact the Office of Human Resources to determine if formal leave procedures should be initiated when a Temporary Need to Care for Self or Others or Medical Reasons is selected as the basis for consideration of a telecommuting arrangement.
- What if an employee’s telecommuting request is based on disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
If, in submitting a telecommuting arrangement request, an employee identifies or potentially identifies the need for accommodation based on disability (as defined under the ADA), Human Resources will refer the employee’s request to the Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI) for evaluation under the ADA, instead of continuing under the process outlined in the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines. If the request qualifies as a disability accommodation request under the ADA, then OEI will follow its standard process for evaluating such requests, which includes an “interactive process” between the employee, the unit head and OEI in determining what, if any, reasonable accommodations the University may provide to the employee. An employee request that falls under the ADA will not be evaluated under the process outlined in the UTC Telecommuting Arrangement Guidelines above.