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SAMPLE TELECOMMUTING POLICY

The following can be used as a template for your organization if you are considering implementation of telecommuting or teleworking as a powerful recruitment and retention tool. Consider the specifics of your own organization and follow the normal review protocols used for implementation of a new policy to ensure that it meets your organizational needs and complies with all current internal policy and external legislation.

1. Policy Statement

As stated in its Policy on Equal Opportunities: 'the Organization confirms its commitment to develop, maintain and support a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment within the Organization'. To assist in this the Organization will actively support Teleworking where it is reasonable and practical to do so and where operational needs will not be adversely affected.

2.  Definition of Teleworking

Telework is defined as working at home or at other off-site locations that are linked electronically (via computer, fax, etc.) to a central office or principal place of employment. Teleworking is a cooperative arrangement between the Organization and an employee, based upon the needs of the job, work group, and the Organization. This policy does not apply to situations where a supervisor occasionally allows an employee to work at home on a temporary, irregular basis.

3. Aims and Objectives

The Organization is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff regardless of the number of hours worked. In order to facilitate this the Organization may create working arrangements, in accordance with managerial interests, whereby it can widen its recruitment pool and retain the valuable skills of existing employees.

4.  Eligibility

To be eligible for consideration of a telework arrangement, an employee must have no record of performance problems or disciplinary actions within the preceding two (2) years. In the case of a new hire, the Organization will conduct a thorough reference check with past employers to determine whether he/she meets the requirement.

Criteria for consideration of Teleworking Arrangement

Is the employee a good candidate for teleworking?

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Proven ability to perform;

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No disciplinary action;

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High job knowledge;

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Ability to establish clear objectives;

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Flexibility;

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Ability to work independently;

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Dependability.

            Does the nature of the work lend itself to telecommunicating?

  • Jobs that entail working alone or with equipment that can be kept at the alternate work site

  • Clearly defined tasks and objectives;

  • Little face-to-face communication needed;

  • Measurable work activities

5.  Job Responsibilities

Employee job responsibilities will not change due to teleworking.  Professionalism in terms of job responsibilities, work output, and customer orientation will continue to follow the standards set by the Organization.  The amount of time an employee is expected to work will not change due to teleworking.  Employee work hours will be mutually agreed upon by the supervisor and the employee.  In the event that business conditions require the teleworking employee's presence at a central work location function, meeting, or other event, the employee is expected to report to the central work location, even if such occurs during normally scheduled home-work area hours.

6.  Contact With the Central Work Location

Once a teleworking arrangement has been approved, the teleworking employee is responsible for maintaining regular contact with his or her Supervisor. The Supervisor shall be the teleworking employee's primary contact within the central work location. It is expected that the Supervisor and the teleworker will act together to keep each other apprised of events or information obtained during the working day.

7.  Alternate Work Area

The Organization shall provide workers' compensation and liability protection as obligated by State statues for the employee while in the course of employment within the agreed upon location and defined work schedule.  The Organization assumes no responsibility for any activity, damages, or injury which is not directly associated or resulting from the official job duties for which the Organization has no ability to exercise control.  The Organization assumes no responsibility for the employee's personal property.

In addition, the following must be adhered to:

a)  A designated workspace should be maintained by the employee in a clean, professional, and safe condition.

b)  Any change in the approved job assignment, location or defined work schedule must be reviewed and approved by the supervisor in advance.

c)  As liability may extend to accident5s which could occur in the alternative work location, the Organization retains the right to make on-site inspections of this work area, at a mutually agreed upon time, to ensure that safe work conditions exist.

d)  Employee tax implications related to alternate work locations are the responsibility of the employee.

e)  Employee expenses not specifically covered in this policy will be dealt with on a case-be-case basis between the employee and his/her supervisor.

f)  Employees who work at home will manage dependent care and personal responsibilities in a way that allows them to successfully met job responsibilities.

8.  Equipment

a)  Any hardware of software purchased by the Organization remains the property of the Organization and will be returned to the Organization should the alternative work arrangement be terminated.

b)  Software owned by the Organization may not be duplicated except as formally authorized by policy.

c)  Employees using Organization software must adhere to the manufacturer's licensing agreements.

d)  Restricted access materials (such as payroll, personnel files, etc) may not be taken out of the office, copied, or compromised in any way.  Employees working at alternate sites will take all precautions necessary to secure sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access to the Organization.

e)  Organization equipment located at an alternative work location may not be used for personal activities.

See also:

Telework Application and Screening Questionnaire

Telework Agreement  

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