HRM-012: Alternative Work Schedules

Date: 10/10/2008 Status: Final
Last Revised:
Policy Type: University
Contact Office: UVA Human Resources
Oversight Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Applies To: Academic Division (staff in the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing are excluded from this policy as they fall under the Health System’s Policy HSG-014: Telework) and the College at Wise.
Reason for Policy:

Alternative work schedules, where appropriate and supportive of operational needs, are made available to University employees and managers to maximize the efficiency of operations and to facilitate or reduce employees’ commuting time.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Alternative Work Schedule:

    A schedule that differs from the standard 40-hour workweek schedule particularly with regard to starting and departure time, but without altering the total number of hours worked in a workweek.  Alternative work schedules may include, but are not limited to, flextime, compressed schedules, and rotational or fixed shifts. Alternative work schedules may also be associated with job sharing and telecommuting.

    • Job Sharing:

      In this arrangement, two employees share the responsibility for one full-time position between them. Some employees prefer to work fewer hours in exchange for part-time salary and benefits. Example: Two employees sharing a full-time job where one employee works the morning and another employee works the afternoon.

  • Alternative Work Schedule Plan:

    A written work plan developed by the employee and supervisor, outlining the details of the schedule that differs from the standard hours of work.

  • Core Time:

    Hours of operation during which staff may be required to be present or accessible. Core time may also include the requirement for staff to be present during a particular day of the week. Core time may be necessary in any of the alternative work scheduling arrangements.

  • Telecommuting:

    A work arrangement in which supervisors direct or permit employees to perform their usual job duties away from their central workplace.

  • University's Standard Hours of Work and Workweek:

    The standard hours of work are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., including a one-hour lunch period each Monday through Friday. The standard workweek begins at 12:01 a.m. Monday and ends at 12:00 midnight the following Sunday.

Policy Statement:

The University may permit or direct designated salaried and hourly employees to work schedules that differ from the standard hours of work provided such schedules do not impede efficiency of departmental operations or increase overtime liability. Supervisors and department heads are also encouraged to allow alternative work schedules to facilitate or reduce employees’ commuting time.

  1. Conditions of Employment:
    An alternative work schedule arrangement is intended to benefit both the employee and the department. However, it may be necessary for the University to require employees to work alternative work schedules as a condition of employment. In such cases, this requirement should be included when the position is advertised for recruitment and should be stated in correspondence offering employment.

  2. Develop an Alternative Work Schedule Plan:
    The supervisor or department head must document alternative work schedules by developing a plan that includes:

  • the alternative work schedule and how it might be changed;
  • the duration of the alternative work schedule;
  • how leave and holidays will be managed; and
  • how emergency or weather-related closing will be managed.

The supervisor and employee must agree to the terms of the Alternative Work Schedule Plan before the employee may work a schedule that differs from the University’s standard hours of work. The Alternative Work Schedule Plan is to be authorized by the department head, in consultation with the employee’s supervisor, recorded in the University Human Resource system, and kept on file in the department.

  1. Types of Alternative Work Schedules:
    1. Flextime: A flextime schedule enables an employee to start and end work earlier or later than the standard hours of work. Departments may require that employees be present and accessible during certain core times each day, or on certain days of the week.

    2. Compressed Schedule: In this arrangement, the work schedule may be “compressed” such that the employee would work his or her normal work-hours by working greater than 8 hours on some days and less or no hours on other days.

      Example for exempt or non-exempt employees: Four ten-hour days that allow for one day off between Monday and Friday.

      Example for exempt employees only: In the first week, the employee works 5 nine-hour days (total of 45 hours). In the second week, the employee works 3 nine-hour days, 1 eight-hour day and has a day off (total of 35 hours). This totals 80 hours over the two week period.

    3. Rotational or Fixed Shifts: Under this arrangement, an 8 hour shift would “rotate” or change during a set schedule or include fixed hours assigned outside of the University’s standard hours of work. Rotational or fixed shifts are schedules that allow management to increase their unit’s coverage of evening, night, and weekend hours. Certain jobs may also lend themselves to working set or rotating evening, night, and weekend shift hours or a combination of day, evening, night, and weekend shift hours in lieu of the University’s standard hours of work.

      Rotational Shift: An employee works evening hours from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Monday through Friday for 4-weeks and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the next 4-weeks.
      Fixed Shift: An employee works evening hours from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

  1. Termination of Alternative Work Schedule Plan:
    The supervisor or department head may terminate the alternative work schedule plan at any time. It is recommended that the employee be given advance notice of the date the alternative work schedule will end; however, advance notice is not required.

  2. Roles and Responsibilities:
    The employee is responsible for adhering to the terms of the alternative work schedule plan. Failure to comply with the alternative work schedule plan may result in the termination of the arrangement and/or disciplinary action.

The supervisor/department head is responsible for:

  • Identifying those positions that are appropriate for alternative work schedules.
  • Ensuring compliance with all federal and state laws and University policies and procedures.
    • Ensure that procedures are in place to document the work hours of non-exempt employees.
    • Limit overtime assignments to situations where it is necessary.
  • Obtaining necessary approvals.
  • Notifying University Human Resources of the alternative work arrangement.
  • Terminating the alternative work schedule if the arrangement does not meet desired objectives.

University Human Resources is responsible for:

  • Giving advice and guidance to all parties involved in determining eligible positions; and
  • Providing training to supervisors and managers in effectively managing employees working alternative work schedules.

Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) Implementation Guidelines and the Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) Request and Plan can be found at HR Forms & Policies under Employment Policies and Procedures.

Related Information:

HRM-013: Telecommuting from Alternative Work Locations
Health System Policy HSG-014: Telework
Commonwealth’s Policy 1.25 Hours of Work
Code of Virginia, 2.2-2817.1

Major Category: Human Resource Management
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 10/10/2008
Revision History: Updated the "Applies to" Section 1/1/21; Updated Procedure link 5/27/20.