Update on Telecommuting Policy Relaxation
December 3, 2021
Dear Rutgers Colleagues,
As part of the university’s continued commitment to the health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, since March 2020, Rutgers has provided faculty, staff, and students flexibility through the relaxation of Policy 60.3.22 Alternative Work Arrangements and Telecommuting for Regularly Appointed Staff.
The last few months have brought about many positive changes, including the re-opening of K-12 school systems and childcare facilities, availability of vaccines for children 5 to 17, and boosters for those 18 and older; at the same time, specific measures imposed by public health entities remain in effect. Accordingly, the relaxation of Section II (A) of Policy 60.3.22 with regard to who is eligible to telecommute will be further extended until June 30, 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 effective December 31, 2021.
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.
As you are aware, President Holloway has created the Future of Work Task Force. The task force’s charge is to build upon lessons learned throughout the pandemic to make recommendations that are mission-focused, support our ability to recruit, retain, and develop top talent, and attend to employee well-being as foundational to achieving organizational excellence. The task force, including working and advisory groups, comprises approximately 250 employees across functional areas throughout the university. There are many opportunities to participate and provide feedback, including completing the online Community Input Form on the future of the work task force website, participation in focus groups, employee surveys, listening tours, and town hall meetings.
For more information, visit futureofwork.rutgers.edu.
Senior Vice President for Human Resources