L&S Remote Work Policy
This document provides information to departments on the University's remote work agreement (RWA) policy, as well as instructions for L&S Departments on how to request remote work approval in L&S.
The UW-Madison campus developed a new policy for remote work in 2021.
All requests for remote work should be reviewed carefully and must be approved by the supervisor/department chair or director and the Dean's office. The operational needs of the department must be carefully considered in this review. The approval process can take anywhere from two to six weeks to complete. Please consider this time frame when submitting your request.
Is a Remote Work Agreement Needed?
The College of Letters & Sciences supports the use of appropriate flexible and remote work options for employees. To minimize confusion and align with university policy, understanding formal definition of the term “workplace flexibility” is important. Workplace flexibility refers to work that is performed at an off-campus worksite on a sporadic basis and that does not follow a regular, repeated schedule. A remote work agreement is not required for employees practicing workplace flexibility in consultation with their supervisor. Examples of workplace flexibility, provided supervisor approval is obtained, include:
- working remotely for the remainder of a day after a doctor’s appointment for physical exam or a dental cleaning
- working from home while waiting for a furnace repair service professional
- an employee working remotely during severe weather (see UW–Madison Inclement Weather Policy)
- an employee working remotely for a month or less, within the United States
- Note: While not a "workplace flexibility” per se, per campus policy, Faculty and graduate assistants working remotely within Wisconsin do not require remote work approval or a remote work agreement in the RWA system.
- Campus Remote Work Website
- Campus Remote Work Policy
- Tipsheet - Requestor
- Tipsheet - Approver
- Work Modality Definitions
Request for Remote Work: Outside Wisconsin / International
Remote work outside Wisconsin:
An employee is not authorized to begin remote work outside Wisconsin (including internationally) until pre-approved by the Dean’s Office*, and a Remote Work Agreement (RWA) has been finalized. The employee should not start a remote work agreement request (RWA) in the online system, until pre-approval is received.
*New STS/student assistants are authorized to begin work after the Dean’s pre-approval is received and should complete the remote work agreement after the start of the new appointment.
Remote work from countries which are “embargoed” by the U.S. is prohibited. A list of these countries is provided here: Export Control https://research.wisc.edu/integrity-and-other-requirements/export-control/, see “E:1/E:2 countries".
HOW TO REQUEST REMOTE WORK OUTSIDE WISCONSIN, OR INTERNATIONALLY
STEP 1: Department secures Dean’s Office pre-approval.
The department sends a completed Remote Work Request spreadsheet to their HR Associate Director (Laura Fisk for STS and Student Assistants) and copies firstname.lastname@example.org. For new employees (or a current employee starting in a new appointment which will begin on the first day of the new appointment), this step should be completed prior to the employee’s start date.
- Remote Work Request - For Employee Classes: AS (Non-STS), FA, LI, US, TE, ET, SH
- Remote Work Request - For Short-Term Staff (STS) and Student Assistants
STEP 2: Department is notified of Dean’s Office approval/non-approval.
STEP 3: If approved, the Department verifies that the “Reports To” in HRS lists the correct Supervisor. (If this step is missed, the request will be routed to the wrong person).
STEP 4: Department instructs the employee to start a remote work agreement in the RWA system, noting which specific Position to connect the request to.
RWA’s should be started as soon as possible after the start date of the appointment** using these guides:
**Note – The online RWA system does not allow the employee to begin a request in the system until after the start date of the appointment.
RWA Approvals: RWAs are routed to the supervisor as first step approver , Dept Admin staff as second step approver; and L&S HR as final approver. Various campus offices will also review the RWA. The RWA has final approval only if all parties have approved it and concerns raised by campus offices have been resolved.
STEP 4: Employee receives email that RWA has been finalized.
Note to Departments: Please know that Foreign Nationals seeking to work remotely from an international location must provide the Office of Human Resources Payroll Office with documentation to ensure they are appropriately taxed when working outside the U.S., and to ensure that they receive the correct tax reporting documents at year end. Please encourage the employee to complete these steps as soon as possible after the start of the appointment. Refer them to the Foreign Source Income website for more information or to OHR Payroll with questions.
Request for Remote Work: Within Wisconsin
Note: Per campus policy, Faculty and graduate assistants working remotely within Wisconsin do not require remote work approval or a remote work agreement in the RWA system.
HOW TO REQUEST REMOTE WORK WITHIN WISCONSIN
STEP 1: Department verifies that the “Reports To” in HRS lists the correct Supervisor. (If this step is missed, the request will be routed to the wrong person).
All employees (except Faculty and graduate assistants) working 100% remote must have dean’s office approval prior to completing a remote work agreement.
- Remote Work Request - For Employee Classes: AS (Non-STS), LI, US, TE, ET, SH
- Remote Work Request - For Short-Term Staff (STS)
All employees requesting an in-state hybrid work schedule need to submit a remote work agreement (RWA) in the online system as soon as possible after the start date of the appointment or before remote work has commenced*
*Note – The online RWA system does not allow the employee to begin a request until after the start date of the appointment.
The employee uses these guides when completing the RWA:
STEP 2: Employee receives email that RWA has been finalized.
Last updated 9/21/2023