Update on Telecommuting Policy Relaxation
June 6, 2022
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
As you are aware, since March 2020, Rutgers has provided faculty, staff, and students flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic through the relaxation of Policy 60.3.22 Alternative Work Arrangements and Telecommuting for Regularly Appointed Staff.
Last year, President Holloway announced the creation of the Future of Work Task Force to determine lessons learned throughout the pandemic and make recommendations that are mission-focused and support our ability to recruit, retain, and develop top talent. Many of you participated in a future of work survey utilized to inform the development of the task force’s recommendations; the results of which can be found at https://uhr.rutgers.edu/future-of-work/survery-results. The task force’s report will be shared with the university community in the coming weeks.
Pending the review of the task force’s final report, the relaxation of Section II (A) of Policy 60.3.22 with regard to who is eligible to telecommute will be further extended until August 31, 2022. In addition, the requirement to enter into a Telecommuting Agreement between the employee and their department will still not be necessary. All other policy provisions are no longer relaxed.
We continue to encourage department heads to be flexible with regard to telecommuting and other flexible work arrangements where feasible. It is important to note that:
- The extension of the relaxation of specific provisions of Policy 60.3.22 does not create an entitlement to telecommute or to an alternate work arrangement but instead provides the flexibility necessary to balance the operational and service needs of the university with employee well-being as we plan for a safe return to campus.
- Telecommuting is a particular work arrangement in which some or all work is performed from home or other off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked; however, a department head may approve a work schedule outside of regular business hours as long as the flexible schedule meets the department’s operational needs.
- Employees who are telecommuting or in an alternative work arrangement must report outside employment and other activities in compliance with the University Ethics and Compliance Outside Activity Questionnaire.
- Employees working remotely should perform work at a worksite that complies with the provisions of Policy 60.3.22 (II) (C) and must be at their remote workstations during their scheduled work hours, and not attend to personal business during those same work hours If persons in need of primary care are regularly present in the alternate work location while the employee is telecommuting, the employee must demonstrate that another individual is present to provide the care in accordance with Policy 60.3.22 (II) (B) (3).
- Remote and flexible work schedule determinations must consider equity across similarly situated employees within the unit.
- When telecommuting, employees are still obligated to comply with all university rules, policies, and procedures (as the university may modify them) to the extent deemed necessary and appropriate.
- The relaxation of specific provisions of Policy 60.3.22 is not intended to and does not amend, delete, or add to the provisions of any collective negotiations agreement. Where Policy 60.3.22 conflicts with the provisions of a collective negotiations agreement, the collective negotiations agreement will control.
Senior Vice President for Human Resources