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3.6.25 and 3.4.12 Flexible Work Schedules

Policy Statement

Illinois State University supports the concept and use of various scheduling arrangements designed to create a work environment that considers the  operational and customer needs of campus organizational units and departments while being responsive to the professional and personal needs of the campus workforce. This approach is intended to foster staff retention and recruitment by promoting an intentional work/life blend while maintaining and enhancing the work requirements of each department.  The availability of flexible schedules does not alter the responsibility and authority of department heads to establish and adjust work schedules. 

Each supervisor is responsible for determining the appropriateness of flexible schedules for the College, School or Department and must consider the impact on work effectiveness as well as the benefit to the employee. Flexible work schedules are to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  It is not required or necessarily appropriate that flexible work schedules be uniformly available to all positions in the department or organizational unit. (See also the University Policy 3.1.31, Remote Work Guidelines for Administrative Professional and Civil Service Appointments

General hours of operation for the University are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Under this policy, the total number of hours worked each work day may vary, so long as the total hours worked during the  work week are equal to the standard work hours of 37.5 hours/week (assuming full-time 1.0 FTE). Flexible schedules under this policy may include any of the following schedules:

  • 7.5 hours each day with varying start and ends times (5 days/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
  • Four-day work week – Four 9.375-hour days per week
  • Four and ½ day work week – Four 8.375-hour days and one 4-hour day per week


Either the employee or the supervisor may request a flexible work schedule.  In most cases, it is intended that the flexible schedule be established for a defined period of time, with an established start date and an established end date. 

The decision to begin or end a flexible 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, so that the employee’s schedule can be updated in the iPeople system to ensure proper time reporting and pay rules are applied .  Work time must be properly reported in iPeople and should always accurately reflect the employee’s actual time worked and/or benefits used.

Employee Initiated Flexible Work Schedule

An employee who wishes to request a flexible 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 flexible work schedules, but all should recognize that flexible schedules are special arrangements at the discretion of the University. 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 University grievance procedures (See Policies 3.4.10 and 3.6.21).


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

  1. Flexible work schedules shall not adversely affect the services that are provided to students, other campus partners, co-workers or the public nor should it result in a change to the normal operating hours of the department or organizational unit.  The quantity, quality, and timeliness of employee work must be enhanced or maintained.
  2. Adequate supervisory contact and/or employee accountability must be maintained. 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.
  3. Flexible work schedules must not cause or contribute to the need for additional staff, or for any staff to work additional overtime hours.
  4. It is not required that flexible work schedules be uniformly available to all positions in a department or organizational unit.  Not every function is conducive to flexible scheduling because of service requirements.  This should not deter supervisors from approving or establishing flexible work schedules for positions where such scheduling is possible and/or where such scheduling 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 workweek or does not provide the employee with at least a 30-minute meal break when working a shift of 7 or more hours and no later than 5 hours after the start of the work period, to employees who work 7 ½ continuous hours or more.
  6. The supervisor should share documentation of any flexible work schedule with the employee, the department (as necessary for operational need), and Human Resources in advance of the implementation of the work schedule. Documentation should include the scheduled workdays; daily start and end times; meal break period; total daily work hours; and the end date of the flexible schedule, if known.
  7. A department or organizational unit that has established a flexible work schedule may discontinue, temporarily suspend and/or alter the arrangement if work needs change, service is impaired or the employee is unable to satisfactorily adjust to the new schedule (i.e., performance or productivity is reduced, conduct issues arise, etc.).  An employee may also request a change in schedule. Communication of any changes should also be sent to Human Resources in advance of the change.
  8. Staff members on a flexible work schedule earn the same rate of pay and are eligible for the same benefit programs as if they were working a traditional schedule.
  9. 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 reported 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  schedules should not be considered an accommodation in lieu of University Policies 1.3 or 1.3.1.

For employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, where the collective bargaining agreement conflicts with this policy, the collective bargaining agreement will apply. 

Supervisor Initiated Work Schedule Change

A supervisor may change an employee’s permanent work schedule with a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days written notice.  Schedules other than 7.5 hours in 5 consecutive days must be mutually agreed to by the supervisor and employee.  However, flexible schedules that are consistent with this policy 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, in which case mutual agreement is not required.  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 schedule changes should be communicated to Human Resources.

Policy Owner: Human Resources

Contact: Human Resources (309-438-8311)

Revised on: 05/2022

2023-03-03T07:01:54.031619-08:00 2023