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3.6.25 and 3.4.12 Alternate Work Schedules

This policy sets forth guidelines and limitations affecting alternate work schedules.


In determining work schedules, Illinois State University supports the concept and use of various scheduling arrangements designed to create a work environment that considers the service requirements of campus departments and that is responsive to the professional and personal needs of the campus workforce. This approach is intended to foster staff retention and recruitment while maintaining and enhancing the work requirements of each department. The availability of alternate schedules does not alter the responsibility and authority of department heads to establish and adjust work schedules.

Each unit head is responsible for determining the appropriateness of alternate schedules for the unit and must consider the impact on work effectiveness as well as the benefit to the employee. Alternate work schedules are to be considered on a case by case basis It is not required that alternate work schedules be uniformly available to all positions in an operating unit. (See also the University's Work at Home Policy 3.1.31.)

Alternate schedules under this policy may include any of the following schedules so long as the total work hours during the workweek are equal to the standard work hours of 37.5 hours/week:

7.5 hours each day with varying start and ends times (5days/week)
Varying start and/or end times each day resulting in varying total daily work hours (i.e. hours per work day will vary; the number of workdays/week)
Split shifts which include workday(s) in which starting and ending times are adjusted to accommodate a meal break of more than one hour
Regular workdays other than Monday through Friday

Work time must be reported in iPeople and should always accurately reflect the employee's actual work time.


Either the employee or the supervisor may request an alternate work schedule. In most cases, it is intended that the alternate schedule be established for a defined period of time.

The decision to begin or end an alternate work schedule that is consistent with any of the schedules outlined in the policy statement above must be communicated with Human Resources prior to implementation to ensure proper time reporting and pay rules are applied at the beginning and ending of the alternate schedule. The purpose of informing HR prior to implementation is to reduce erroneously created overtime (created when workdays are longer than 7.5 hours, but workweeks are 37.5 or less) and ensure accurate pre-population of hours for an easier and more efficient employee/supervisor reporting/approving experience.

Employee Initiated Alternate Work Schedule

An employee who wishes to request an alternate work schedule should submit the request in writing to the supervisor. If needed, Human Resources can provide assistance in determining the type of schedule and preparing the request.

Departments are encouraged to make reasonable efforts to accommodate employee requests for alternate work schedules, but all should recognize that alternate schedules are special arrangements. Approval is granted only when the supervisor believes that the change in working hours will not interfere with the efficient operation of the University or department and the employee's work performance will not be adversely affected. This decision is the sole discretion of the University and is not subject to the grievance procedure.

Supervisor Initiated Work Schedule Change

A supervisor may change an employee's permanent work schedule with a minimum of thirty (30) calendar written notice. Schedules other than 7.5 hours in 5 consecutive days must be mutually agreed to by the supervisor and employee. However, such alternate schedules may be properly established for vacant positions prior to filling the position or in cases where the position has historically had a fully flexible schedule. Based on the operating needs of the department, temporary schedule changes may be made by the supervisor with 2 days advance notice unless otherwise agreed upon between employee and supervisor. These schedules should be communicated to Human Resources.


When considering requests for changes in working hours or when establishing alternate work schedules, supervisors should consider the following:

  1. Alternate work schedules shall not adversely affect the services that are provided to students, other operating units, co-workers or the public. The quantity, quality, and timeliness of employee work must be enhanced or maintained.
  2. Adequate supervisory contact and/or employee accountability must be maintained.
  3. Alternate work schedules must not cause or contribute to the need for additional staff, or for staff to work additional overtime hours.
  4. It is not required that alternate work schedules be uniformly available to all positions in an operating unit. Not every function is conducive to such alternate scheduling because of service requirements. This should not deter supervisors from approving or establishing alternate work schedules for positions where such scheduling is possible and/or would enhance services.
  5. No work schedule shall be implemented that results in a full-time employee working less than 37.5 hours during the work week or does not provide the employee with at least a 30 minute meal break when working a shift of 7 hours or more.
  6. Documentation of any alternate work schedule should be shared with the employee, department and Human Resources in advance of the implementation of the work schedule. Documentation should include the scheduled work days; daily start and end times; meal break period; total daily work hours; and the end date of the alternate schedule, if known.An operating unit that has established an alternate work schedule may discontinue, temporarily suspend and/or alter the arrangement if work needs change or service is impaired. An employee may also request a change in schedule.
  7. An operating unit has established an alternate work schedule may discontinue, temporarily suspend and/or alter the arrangement if work needs change or service is impaired. An employee may also request a change in schedule.
  8. Permanent schedule changes initiated by the supervisor require a 30 calendar day written notice unless parties mutually agree to the change.
  9. Documentation must be prepared to demonstrate how productivity and performance will be monitored and measured for those arrangements that allow employees to work during times when supervisors will not be present.
  10. Staff members on an alternate work schedule earn the same rate of pay and are eligible for the same benefit programs as if they were working on a traditional schedule.
  11. Vacation and sick leave will reflect the hours scheduled for the workday. For example, if an employee is scheduled for 9 hours on Monday and requests vacation for the day, 9 hours of vacation will be recorded on the timesheet.

During weeks where paid holidays occur, the work schedule may need to be adjusted so that the 7.5 hours allowed for holiday pay does not reduce or increase the total hours scheduled in the work week.

Employees assigned to work a 40 hour work schedule should apply this policy by substituting 8.0 hours where it reads 7.5 hours and 40 hours where it reads 37.5 hours.

These flexible or alternate schedules are not designed to be an accommodation in lieu of policies 1.3 or 1.3.1.

Any employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement that addresses any of the issues herein will follow the collective bargaining agreement.

Initiating body: Office of Human Resources

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 9/2014

2018-01-29T14:21:14.39-06:00 2018