The University of Wisconsin–Madison supports the use of alternative work schedules by full-time or part-time classified employees when these schedules are consistent with efficient and effective department operation.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
Director, Office of Workforce Relations
The Office of Human Resources (OHR) is currently reviewing this policy. OHR is consolidating and updating the format of policies to reflect changes in state law that took effect on July 1, 2015. Until this policy has been revised, please refer to the existing policy or policies:
For Academic Staff, Faculty, and/or Limited appointees: UPPP 14.01 Standard Hours and Alternative Work Schedules for Academic Staff, Faculty and Limited Appointees
For University Staff: CPP 14.02 Alternative Work Schedules
Additional Information: Workplace Flexibility
Note: Where the policy text refers to “Classified Staff,” this reference applies to University Staff. Where the policy text refers to “Unclassified Staff,” this reference applies to Academic Staff, Faculty, and/or Limited appointees.
This policy was published 11/18/2005. For recent information, please refer to the Addendum to Telecommuting Policy In Response to Declaration of COVID-19 Pandemic by World Health Organization.
UW–Madison recognizes the value of telecommuting for both employee and employer. Telecommuting is a cooperative arrangement* based on the needs of the job, the department or unit, and the university. The following is the telecommuting policy for classified, academic staff and limited employees of the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.
Telecommuting: Telecommuting is a voluntary* workplace alternative where supervisors agree to allow an employee to regularly perform some or all assigned duties at home or another location. This may involve the use of telecommunications (cellular phones, faxes, calling cards, internet access, pagers, etc.) or computer technologies. A telecommuting agreement document detailing mutually agreed* upon work schedules, accessibility levels, equipment purchases/loans-service purchases and any other pertinent issues must be completed and signed before beginning telecommuting. A telecommuting agreement is not required for occasional situations in which the employee works at home.
Telecommuting Agreement: a document that describes a specific alternative off-site work arrangement, and any necessary equipment/services needed.
The Supervisor, Department Chair, and Dean/Director will review the telecommuting request taking into account the factors listed below.
Telecommuting is a prerogative of the University, not an entitlement of employees. It is approved on a case-by-case basis consistent with the mission of the University and the respective department or unit.
Telecommuting is not a substitute for dependent or day care.
Telecommuting is a management tool allowing for flexibility in work options. It does not change the basic terms and conditions of employment. Compensation and benefits will be set forth in University policy or union contract, whichever applies. The telecommuter's salary, job responsibilities, and University benefits do not change as a result of telecommuting.
A completed Telecommuting/Extended Work Place Agreement and form (below) are required and must be signed by the Supervisor, Department Chair, Dean/Director’s Office and the telecommuter. Copies of these documents should be kept in the employee’s personnel file; and be forwarded to Risk Management if University equipment is loaned to the employee. This agreement should be reviewed and updated annually or as the specifics or equipment/services are modified.
The work schedule of the telecommuting employee will be determined by the Supervisor, Department Chair, Dean/Director and will be documented in the telecommuting agreement.
The working of overtime, accrual of compensatory time, accrual and charging of leave time will be subject to the same rules and regulations as are in place at the designated University work location.
With advance notice, the Supervisor may make on-site visits to the telecommuter's work location.
As a University telecommuter employee, I understand and agree to the following:
I understand that expenses not stated on the Telecommuting Agreement Form and that have not received prior approval from my supervisor and the Dean/Director’s Office will be my responsibility.
*If the employee accepts the telecommuting arrangement as a condition of employment when hired into the position, the employee will not be able to unilaterally terminate the agreement; it can only be terminated by the employer.
Cover Letter to HR Representatives (11/18/2005)
Telecommuting Agreement Form (11/18/2005)
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, UW–Madison is committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and health of its students, employees, and other stakeholders. In selected circumstances, one way to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 at work involves telecommuting for employees. UW–Madison has a telecommuting policy in place, and this addendum is meant to provide more flexibility to supervisors and employees who wish to enter into a telecommuting arrangement.
Except as is outlined in this addendum, all provisions in the current telecommuting policy remain in force.
Under this addendum, there are fewer procedural steps that UW–Madison and individual employees must take to enter into a telecommuting agreement. Instead of a request by an employee, approval by a series of administrators, and a signed agreement, a supervisor may initiate a telecommuting agreement by sending an email to an employee’s UW–Madison email account. That email will outline the parameters of the telecommuting arrangement. A template of such a communication is contained in Appendix A of this addendum.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, UW–Madison is committed to taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and health of its students, employees, and other stakeholders. One way to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 at work involves telecommuting. You have been selected as an employee who will be telecommuting, effective [insert date]. I am sending this communication pursuant to the addendum to the campus telecommuting policy. This email outlines the general parameters of the telecommuting arrangement and of your options if you prefer not to telecommute.
I will be following up with you on your specific job duties and on other details, but the general principle is that you will perform fundamentally equivalent tasks while telecommuting and will do so pursuant to the provisions outlined in UW–Madison’s telecommuting policy. Please read that policy carefully.
Questions undoubtedly will arise as we move forward with this arrangement, and I want you to know that you can reach out to me at any time for guidance. The best ways to reach me during this time period are my wisc.edu email account or my cell phone, which is [insert number].
If you do not wish to telecommute, please let me know within the next 72 hours to discuss your options. In general, at this time, you could choose to take accrued paid leave or leave without pay in lieu of telecommuting. I encourage you to review UW–Madison’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates and guidance on this topic. See covid19.wisc.edu.
I understand this outlines a significant change in how you accomplish your work. Thank you for embracing this change. I appreciate your understanding as we strive to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to continue the important work we do at UW–Madison.