Remote Working Pilot
Introduction to Remote Working Pilot
The University has decided to extend the Remote Working pilot for another year. While certain benefits of remote working have been recognised, there still remains some unknowns regarding how we can provide an effective service provision and rich experience to both our student and staff community. DCU is not alone in this regard as the overall assessment regarding the effectiveness of remote working and how it can work in each organisation is still very much open for discussion. It is therefore prudent to continue the pilot, with some enhancements and review its effectiveness over the coming year.
Please see below the relevant information and documentation regarding the Remote Working Pilot 2023/2024
Quantum of remote working
This remains unchanged.
Scheduling of 40% remote working periods (up to 21 weeks)
- Such weeks are determined by the Head of each unit in conjunction with HR and will take cognisance of the academic calendar, business needs and the service provision of the particular area.
- Staff already availing of an existing remote working arrangement will not be required to reapply through the full process as outlined in the pilot.
- However managers should discuss and agree with their staff on their remote working days and provide this to their HR representative not later than 27th October 2023.
- Newly appointed staff should apply through the full process as outlined in the pilot as they join.
Systems and recording of remote working on core
This remains unchanged.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the basis on which eligible staff may avail of the facility to engage in a remote working arrangement on a pilot basis.
The University has decided to extend the Remote Working pilot for another year. While certain benefits of remote working have been recognised, there still remains some unknowns regarding how we can provide an effective service provision and rich experience to both our student and staff community. DCU is not alone in this regard as the overall assessment regarding the effectiveness of remote working and how it can work in each organisation is still very much open for discussion. It is therefore prudent to continue the pilot, with some enhancements and review its effectiveness over the coming year. Our new strategic plan - Transformation for an Unscripted Future (link) has a clear focus on enhancing both the student and staff experience of studying and working in DCU. The strategy design includes two pillars - Pioneer a Transformative Student Experience and Value and Develop Our Staff Community which have the following objectives:
- Provide an enriching student experience, engagement opportunities, resources, supports, facilities and environment.
- Enhance our staff culture, community and campus experience where staff & students connect & thrive.
This pilot policy is designed to take the above objectives into account and to combine the best of our on campus learning environment with the benefits of remote working, while continuing to deliver a high-quality education service and strengthen Our DCU community.
The University is committed to promoting staff wellbeing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance for its staff community. The University also acknowledges the benefits of a remote working arrangement in certain appropriate circumstances. The pilot is based upon four fundamental principles:
- Ensuring the integrity and vibrancy of our DCU community and culture.
- Ensuring the continuance of regular in person interactions across our DCU community.
- Ensuring we continue to deliver a high-quality education experience, research impact and excellent service to our students, colleagues and other key stakeholders.
- Ensuring the wellness of staff and promoting a balanced and healthy work-life.
This policy will operate on a pilot basis for a period of 12 months from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024.
This pilot applies to all staff of the University, professional, library and technical grades. Academic colleagues already availing of existing remote working arrangements should refer to section 10.0 below.
The above collective is hereinafter referred to as “the University’’. This policy does not apply to the DCU Commercial Group of Companies.
The principles of operation of this policy during the pilot are as follows:
- In line with the objectives of the University’s Strategic Plan this pilot will operate with the aim to enhance our staff culture, community and campus experience where staff and students connect and thrive;
- Any remote working arrangements will be reflective of the predominant on-campus working environment and the core University value of “Student Focused. Staff will be based on campus for the majority of their working week to ensure a sustained on campus engagement and experience;
- Certain roles will not be suitable for remote working;
- Staff are entitled to request remote working arrangement, but it is not a guaranteed right, it is a benefit;
- Staff must be available to attend work on campus as and when required and set out by the University;
- There is no entitlement to swap remote working arrangements with other staff members or to accrue remote working days if attendance on campus is required or if travelling on University business; and
- All other terms and conditions of employment are not affected.
Remote working will be facilitated where appropriate, but may not apply to certain roles or units, which are stakeholder facing or require daily on campus attendance in order to deliver on the full remit of the role. Roles which are not suitable for Remote Working Arrangements are determined by line management and Head of Unit.
Newly appointed staff may be required to work on site up to 5 days per week for an initial onboarding period. This will be determined by the line manager and communicated to the newly appointed staff member at the outset.
Approval for a Remote Working Arrangement, up to 20% of the working week may be facilitated for the duration of the pilot. In addition, a working arrangement of up to 40% of the working week may be facilitated for periods up to 21 weeks per year.
Such weeks are determined by the Head of each unit in conjunction with HR and will take cognisance of the academic calendar, business needs and the service provision of the particular area.
The pilot acknowledges there may be some circumstances whereby staff will be required to be on campus on their designated remote working day determined by the University. Staff, subject to line manager approval, may request, in advance, to swap their designated day provided there is no disruption to service delivery. Please note the swapping of remote days may only be availed of on an irregular and exceptional basis.
There must be a fair distribution of how remote working is applied both in a Unit and across the University. Remote Working arrangements within a unit must be spread proportionally across the working week. It will not be acceptable for a large proportion of remote working arrangements to be on a Monday and/or Friday. To ensure a sustained campus presence it is essential that on campus facilities for both students and staff are sufficiently resourced at all times.
A specific day(s) each week or a day in a particular week might be excluded from remote working to facilitate Unit or Team weekly on campus staff meetings, attendance at workshops or other events.
Our new strategic plan - Transformation for an Unscripted Future has a clear focus on enhancing both the student and staff experience of studying and working in DCU.
DCU is primarily a campus based university. Remote working arrangements for academic staff will take into account the following principles regarding teaching, research and engagement with professional colleagues.
- Teaching which is approved to be campus based, must be delivered in-person, on campus. The mode of delivery of taught programmes is designed at programme level and is subject to University guidelines and approval processes in this regard. Timetables reflect the approved approach, and local or individual discretion cannot be applied.
- In line with established practice and expectations, Academic colleagues must be available on campus to meet students outside of scheduled teaching times to support learning and to fulfil tutor roles.
- Important and impactful conversations with students (such those on designated consultation days after results are published and those in which Programme Chairs advise students) are in person.
- The majority of an academic’s activity relating to research student supervision and line management of research colleagues takes place in person.
- Academic staff are routinely available in person, for on campus engagement with professional and technical staff as well as with academic colleagues, i.e. they are present in the School outside of the above activities.
Staff in academic grades who wish to avail of remote working will agree the proposed working arrangements with their respective Head of School in the first instance. Consideration for any such arrangement will take into account a number of factors including the needs of the School and Faculty, research (including supervision and line management), engagement and teaching requirements and other existing arrangements in operation.
Travel on university business creates a context of remote working which is distinct from that covered by this policy. Planning for such travel should however include putting arrangements in place which align with the above principles, and are approved by the Head of School.
Researchers will need to liaise with their Principal Investigator regarding remote work arrangements, any such arrangement should be in line with the general provisions of this policy.
The ultimate approval of all academic remote working arrangements within the Faculty will rest with the Executive Dean of Faculty.
Staff availing of a remote working arrangement may be entitled to accrue or use flexi leave during the period of the arrangement. Should a staff member work a full day remotely it will be recorded as 7 hours in all instances for professional and library grades and 7 hours 15 minutes for technical grades.
Staff availing of both flexi leave and remote working should not clock in/out on a remote working day. Flexi is not accrued on a remote working day. In the instance a remote day is changed, the line manager will be required to manually adjust coretime to reflect the change.
Please note that it is not intended that these flexible start and finish times will become a shift pattern and therefore may only be availed of on an irregular and exceptional basis.
Staff availing of remote working must be available during normal hours of work. Staff should be available through phone, zoom calls and email. Staff must ensure their work landline is forwarded to their laptop (using the Avaya Workplace Softphone), mobile, or home landline.
Staff must ensure regular contracted working hours are maintained and ensure adequate rest breaks are taken in accordance with the Organisation of Working Time Act.
The 2021 Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Code of Practice on the right to disconnect will apply to all employees undertaking a remote working arrangement.
In order to avail of a Remote Working Arrangement an employee must be able to access:
- a satisfactory broadband connection capable of hosting video-based meetings;
- university systems via the DCU Pulse Secure, Virtual Private Network (VPN) or equivalent; secure IT network access mechanisms put in place by the University;
- a suitable working environment; and
- any other facilities that are deemed necessary for the employee to fulfil their duties.
As outlined in the Space Management and Allocation policy all office spaces and facilities are shared by the University. As desk and office space is at a premium across the university it may be a requirement for employees who are availing of remote working to operate in a shared space, or ‘hot desking’, basis during the period of the arrangement.
Eligible employees on part-time working arrangements may be considered for remote working on a pro rata basis where appropriate and possible.
Where the University is closed for a bank holiday or another reason on a day when a staff member is due to be undertaking remote working that day cannot be transferred to another day in that week.
Employees in eligible roles may apply for remote working arrangements in line with the duration of this pilot.
Employees who meet the eligibility criteria should discuss the proposed arrangement in the first instance with their Line Manager. As part of the application procedure the following information should be provided in the Application Form:
A. Proposed remote working location
B. Proposed start date for the remote working arrangement
C. Proposed days of the week to work remotely
D. If the employee made a previous request for remote working and the date of the most recent previous request
E. Employees must confirm that they have a suitable remote working environment and can meet all the obligations of their role.
The application for Remote Working will be reviewed by the relevant Line Manager, Head of Unit and HR. All applications will be reviewed in line with role suitability, nature of the work, the ongoing effectiveness and normal performance expectations of roles and business needs. A response will be provided in writing to the staff member with 6 weeks of submission of the application An agreed remote working arrangement will be reviewed on a regular basis. An arrangement may be terminated without notice should it be deemed to be not working effectively. The reason(s) for any such termination will be provided to the staff member.
In the event that an application for remote working is refused, the grounds for such a refusal will be communicated in writing to the applicant.
The decision not to grant a remote working application or to cancel an existing arrangement may be appealed through the DCU Grievance policy.
Should a staff member be deemed to have abused the remote working arrangement they may be subject to formal disciplinary action in line with Statute No. 5 Suspension and Dismissal of Employees.
Staff members who are in either formal or informal performance management processes may be excluded from remote working until such time it is deemed their performance has improved.
Staff availing of the Remote Working facility should ensure that they have a suitable, safe working environment. To that end assistance is available from the DCU Health and Safety Office who can provide advice and guidance in relation to a safe working environment.
General Guidance for a safe working environment is available here.
As with working on campus, any incidents arising while working remotely should be reported as soon as possible to the University in the normal way.
Guidance on claiming tax relief for utilities and broadband costs can be found on the Revenue website by searching ‘Remotely working from home’. The information is currently available here.
A remote working agreement can be cancelled at any time at the University’s discretion, by providing at least two weeks' notice.
The agreement may also be ended by a staff member subject to mutual agreement with the relevant Line Manager. Notification of cancellation of the agreement should be forwarded to HR.
The effectiveness of this pilot will be reviewed on an ongoing basis during the 12-month period of operation. Impact on productivity, the provision of service to students and employees and the effect on the integrity and vibrancy of Our DCU Community will be assessed. Following this assessment, the University will determine whether a remote working arrangement will continue in its present format or whether changes may be required.
Please refer to your HR Representative for advice and guidance on any aspect of this policy. Please also note that a comprehensive list of FAQs, which will be updated on a regular basis during the pilot can be found here.
This pilot may be amended subject to the publication of the Workplace Relations Commission’s (WRC) Code of Practice and any other relevant legislative changes.
The purpose of this document is to set out the roles and responsibilities for the relevant stakeholders and general guidance on the application procedure under the Remote Working Pilot. This serves as a complimentary document to the pilot.
A. Employee Responsibilities
- Being familiar with the Remote Working Pilot 2023/2024 and complying with its conditions.
- Arranging an initial exploratory conversation with their Line Manager regarding application.
- Complying with all University regulations and policies throughout any remote working period.
- Making themselves available to work onsite for critical onsite activities. 5. Complying with obligations under Health & Safety and ensuring a suitable & safe workspace.
B. Line Manager Responsibilities
- Being familiar with the Remote Working Pilot 2023/2024.
- Ensuring that they adhere to the principles of operation as outlined in the Remote Working Pilot 2023/2024.
- Identifying eligible roles or otherwise and determining the 21 week 40% remote working period in conjunction with the Head of School/Unit and HR.
- Ensuring the fair application of remote working and the operational model within their School/Unit.
- Reviewing each new application in their area of responsibility and must complete, sign and return to each employee via email, irrespective of outcome.
- Ensuring that the high level of in person service provision is maintained with remote working in operation.
- Upholding the principle that employees will spend the majority of the (five day) working week on campus.
C. Head of School/Unit
- Engaging with Line Managers on ensuring that any remote application cannot in any way adversely affect either the student or employee service provision in their Unit.
- Signing off on the application form once satisfied with the outcome.
D. Human Resources
- Ensuring that Remote Working is fairly and consistently applied, as much as possible throughout relevant areas of the University.
- Empowering and assisting Line Managers in ensuring the effectiveness of remote working in their areas.
- Engaging with Line Managers and Heads of Units in ensuring that any remote application cannot in any way adversely affect either the student or employee service provision in their Unit.
- Liaising with Heads of Units in monitoring the effectiveness of remote working across the University.
A. Employee Procedure
- Have an initial exploratory conversation with Line Manager.
- Carry out self-assessment.
- Complete the form and email this completed form to Line Manager.
- Ensure application form is fully completed and signed by Line Manager and Head of School prior to submitting to the specified email address email@example.com
B. Line Manager Procedure
- Engage in the initial exploratory conversation with employee.
- Review each application on the basis of both their own merit and other applications along with the eligibility criteria, ensuring the service provision of the unit and business needs.
- Check that each form should be checked for completeness.
- Engage with their HR business partner for advice at this point if required.
- Discussing applications and providing applications to the Head of School/Unit for review and approval.
- Returning completed and signed forms to employees via email.
C. Human Resources Procedure
- Monitor the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox.
- Final sign off of the application form.
- Ensure each application is stored on an employee’s personnel file.
Please click this link to download the Remote Working Pilot Application form.
This pilot applies to all staff of the University, professional, library and technical grades. Academic colleagues already availing of existing remote working arrangements should refer to section 10.0 of the pilot.
If you submitted a successful application for the 2022 pilot, you are not required to submit an application form for 2023, however, you should ensure you have agreed your remote allocation with your line manager/head of school. New staff or staff who did not apply to the 2022 pilot are required to submit an application form.
Staff in academic grades who wish to avail of remote working will agree the proposed working arrangements with their respective Head of School in the first instance. Please refer to section 10.0 of the pilot.
Researchers will need to liaise with their Principal Investigator regarding remote work arrangements, any arrangement should not be out of line with the general provisions of this policy.
This policy does not apply to the companies within the DCU Commercial group of the University who may, where appropriate, have their own separate remote working arrangements.
Remote working is a benefit and not a contractual obligation. The Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 provides the right to request a remote working arrangement. The purpose of this pilot is to set out the basis on which eligible employees may avail of the facility to engage in a remote working arrangement on a pilot basis.
The University has not imposed the statutory minimum service criteria outlined in the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2023 in order to apply at this time.
The pilot will run from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024, during which time the effectiveness of remote working arrangements across the University will be assessed.
Upon the receipt of a fully completed remote working request a response will be provided in writing to the employee within 4 weeks.
There are steps you will need to follow in order to apply. These have been detailed in the Application Procedure as outlined in the pilot.
You will not be required to apply for the 40% arrangement separately. New applicants should choose their remote working days on the application form or if you have previously applied to the 2022 pilot, agree with your line manager.
You can apply at the time of commencement of employment as long as it is before the end of the pilot i.e. 30 September 2024.
It will be expected that you are not availing of remote working and therefore you will work full time on campus.
Under section 16.0 of the pilot you will see that employees may be entitled to accrue flexi leave during the period of this arrangement. A remote working day (for a full time employee) will be recorded as 7 hours for professional and library grades and 7 hours 15 minutes for technical grades respectively.
You cannot swap your remote working day if you are also availing of flexi. If your remote working arrangement is agreed for a particular day, you will not be able to swap it and have your flexi re-adjusted.
Those on part time working arrangements may be considered for remote working on a prorata basis where appropriate or possible. When considering such an arrangement, the service provision, business needs and quantum of time spent on campus by the individual will be taken into consideration.
Your contract of employment confirms that your place of work is Dublin City University and therefore you cannot work from abroad. In addition, a public sector employee, and in line with DPER current guidelines, you must be in the Irish jurisdiction whilst in employment with the DCU.