Telecommuting Q and A

Who is eligible to participate in a Telecommuting Arrangement?

Telecommuting arrangements are limited to positions where all or a significant portion of the job responsibilities associated with the position can be performed at a site other than the traditional office of the employer.

if I am eligible, can I opt in or out after I sign up? If so, when and how?

Employees requesting a telecommuting arrangement are given a trial period of six (6) months from the date they start telecommuting to decide if they wish to continue with the work arrangement on a long term basis.  If the employee wishes to discontinue the arrangement during the six month period, the employer will arrange for the discontinuation of the arrangement as soon as reasonably possible.  Following the trial period, should an employee wish to discontinue the arrangement, they should request the discontinuation in writing.  The employer will arrange for the discontinuation of the arrangement as soon as possible but in all cases must make this arrangement within six (6) months or receiving the request in writing.

What happens to my telecommuting arrangement if I change jobs and/or transfer to another area?

Employees who change jobs may have to alter or relinquish their telecommuting arrangement if their new position is not amenable to telecommuting and/or if operational requirements for the particular area do not allow for the continuation of the existing arrangement.

What are the core hours of work for a telecommuting employee?

The employer will set the core hours for the employee.  The employee will be expected to be available during these hours.

Will I get the telecommuting arrangement that I request?

Should your position be eligible for telecommuting, every effort will be made to accommodate your preference around the terms of your telecommuting arrangement.  However, because of operational requirements, it may not be possible to meet the terms of your request.

How does seniority affect my selection of a particular telecommuting arrangement?

Seniority as defined in the Collective Agreement is used to determine the priority of alternative work arrangements within your work unit.  All selections are subject to ensuring operational requirements are met within your work area.

Will my pay cheque change if I sign up for a telecommuting arrangement?

No. The amount will remain the same as on your current pay cheque.

Can I be removed from a telecommuting arrangement?

If you do not maintain an acceptable level of performance as a direct result of the telecommuting arrangement, you may be required to discontinue the arrangement.

In every case advance notice and time to rectify the problem will be provided.  A discontinuation of the arrangement under these provisions will not be considered disciplinary and will be for a minimum of three (3) months.

If removed, can I grieve the decision?

Yes, employees may grieve their removal from a telecommuting arrangement to the Vice-President of a different operational area for a final decision, not subject to arbitration.

What if I don’t agree with a decision made relative to my request for a particular telecommuting arrangement?

If your request is turned down or altered and you don’t agree with this decision, you should first discuss the issue with you Supervisor, Manager or Director.  If you are still not satisfied, you may request that the joint committee review the matter as outlined under Article 13.03.01 and 13.03.02 of the current collective agreement.  If either party disagrees with the recommendation of the joint committee, the matter can be referred to the appropriate Vice-President/designate for reconsideration.

What happens to your telecommuting arrangement if you are on a leave of absence, maternity, parental of sick leave?

If you are granted a leave of absence at your request, your telecommuting arrangement will not be retained for you.  If you are still wanting this type of arrangement following your return, you will need to re-apply.

If you are on a maternity or parental leave, every effort will be made to maintain your telecommuting arrangement.  However, you may not be able to retain your previous telecommuting arrangement because of operational requirements.  As such, you will need to request the arrangement again.

If you are on sick leave, your telecommuting arrangement will be held until you return or until you are in receipt of long term disability benefits.  Once you are off long term disability benefits and you return to work full time, you will need to request another arrangement.

How will training classes, such as the eight week claims training classes, be handled with respect to telecommuting?

When participating in training there is no telecommuting arrangement for trainees.  You will be expected to work 8:30 to 4:30.  Once the training is complete, the regular eligibility requirements will have to be met to resume a telecommuting arrangement.

The same applies to other training/workshops.  Staff are expected to attend workshops or training classes at the time offered and forego their telecommuting day.

What are the hours of work on December 24 and December 31?

Flexible work arrangements are suspended for these two half days.  The hours of work for those two days are 8:30 AM to noon.

Who is responsible for the equipment associated with a telecommuting arrangement?

The employee is responsible for the purchase and maintenance of equipment required for telecommuting.  Telecommuters are expected to perform their duties in a safe and healthy environment that conforms to the employer’s security and confidentiality protocols.

What are the Core Hours of Work?

Core hours are defined as the period of time during the day that employees are expected to be available to work.  Core hours for the FWH are 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM but are subject in any particular area/department  to the Employer being able to meet its operational /customer service needs.

What are the hours that I can access the different internal supports?

The internal support hours are as follows:

  • CIC hours 7:55 A.M.-7:00 P.M.
  • I.T. Service Desk Hours 7:55 A.M.-7:00 P.M.
  • 4848 pager crisis line for “internal” customers: 7:55 A.M.-5:05 P.M.