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Working from Home Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) It is the University’s policy that staff members will not work from home. However, from time-to-time, for a variety of exceptional circumstances University staff members may seek a working from home arrangement as an infrequent alternative work arrangement. All working from home arrangements will be made on a case-by-case basis, focusing on the needs of the University first.

(2) Working from home must conform to acceptable work health and safety standards, and must be undertaken in a way that facilitates acceptable behaviour as described in the University’s Code of Conduct - Employees. In particular, the staff member must continue to provide high quality customer service in all levels of activity. Working from home is a business arrangement and not a staff member benefit or entitlement.

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Section 2 - Statement of Authority

(3) The authority behind this policy is the Charles Darwin University Act 2003 part 3, section 15.

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Section 3 - Compliance

(4) This is a compliance requirement under the Code of Conduct - Employees and Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011.

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Section 4 - Intent

(5) This document is applicable to all staff members and outlines the University’s policy on Working from Home.

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Section 5 - Relevant Definitions

(6) In the context of this document:

  1. Ad hoc working from home arrangement means a working from home arrangement that may be authorised by a staff member’s senior manager, and does not occur on a regular basis or follow a regular pattern. Relevant terms, duties and responsibilities detailed in these procedures still apply to ad hoc arrangements, as does the requirement to complete the Working from Home WHS Checklist on the Work from home request eform;
  2. Home-based work site means the area of a private dwelling designated by the staff member to be used as the workplace where the staff member will perform the duties as agreed between the University and the staff member when working from home;
  3. Ongoing working from home arrangement means a working from home agreement authorised by the Deputy Chief Operating Officer that occurs at least once each week/fortnight for more than one (1) month;
  4. Senior Manager means a staff member of the University holding the position of Director or Head of School or equivalent; and
  5. Staff member means anyone employed by the University and includes all continuing, fixed-term, casual, adjunct or honorary staff or those holding University offices or who are a member of a University committee;
  6. Working from home means an authorised and cooperative arrangement made between the staff member and the University for the performance of specified work at the home-based work site during ordinary hours of duty at the staff member’s house;
  7. Working from Home Agreement means a written document (template) used by the University to record formally the staff members ongoing working from home arrangement including an outline of the conditions, expectations, output and expected duration of the agreement. The agreement is signed by the applicant, immediate supervisor and approved by the senior manager; and
  8. Workplace means an area or place, vehicle or vessel whether on land or water, where a staff member performs his or her duties on behalf of the University and includes laboratories, workshops, training rooms, on-site recreational facilities, on field trips, in teaching facilities, in offices, in rural environments and any area of industry operations.
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Section 6 - Policy

(7) Working from home as an alternative work arrangement is available in exceptional circumstances only. The University’s principles for working from home are:

  1. Working from home is neither an entitlement nor an obligation. Any staff member may request a working from home arrangement for use in exceptional circumstances. Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approval will be at the discretion of the University;
  2. the home-based work site shall be subject to the same University Health and Safety Policy and risk management provisions as the workplace provided by the University. The University will not approve any working from home request (ad hoc or ongoing) in circumstances where acceptable Work Health and Safety standards are not met;
  3. the impact of the staff member working from home on other team members will be considered and addressed. Working from home arrangements will not be approved where the approval of such leads to additional work for the staff member’s work area or team members;
  4. the terms and conditions of employment between the University and the staff member, as well as the role and responsibilities of the staff member, which apply at the staff member’s workplace, will also apply at the home-based work site;
  5. staff members must agree to maintain an identified home-based work site as a healthy and safe environment (including provision of smoke alarms, and appropriate first aid kit). In working from home, the staff member fully indemnifies the University against any and all injury to property and person;
  6. approval for working from home may be modified or terminated if it is determined that the needs of the University, the staff member or stakeholders are not being met or have changed. The staff member’s performance standard will be at an acceptable level and remain at such a level whilst the arrangement is in effect and must be readily contactable by students (if applicable) and the University;
  7. staff members must perform only official duties and are not permitted to conduct personal business while working from home. Personal business includes, but is not limited to, caring for dependents and making home repairs;
  8. staff members will not conduct any face-to-face work-related meetings at the home-based work site unless they are conducted by videoconferencing or via the internet;
  9. the University is not required to supply core equipment or facilities to the staff member for the purposes of working from home. It is assumed that a staff member entering into a working from home arrangement has adequate equipment to complete the assigned job. Any University supplied equipment will remain the property of the University and must be returned to the University on the cessation/termination of a working from home arrangement;
  10. the University will have reasonable access to the home-based work site giving reasonable notice for the purpose of assessing the home-based work site with respect to Health and Safety or equipment;
  11. security of information, data integrity and privacy in the home-based work site shall mirror the University's office-based policies;
  12. all records, documents, work papers and work products developed while under the working from home arrangement are subject to the University’s Intellectual Property Policy and related processes and practices which apply at the staff member’s usual place of work; and
  13. if the period of working from home extends to more than one (1) month then a regular and further assessment of the suitability of the work site may be required.
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Section 7 - Non-Compliance

(8) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(9) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(10) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.