The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2014 – 2017 came into effect on 31 October 2014. The PPL entries for this topic are currently under review and should be read in conjunction with the relevant clauses of the new Agreement. In the event of any inconsistencies, the Agreement shall prevail.

Policy

Transfer and Travel between University Locations - Policy

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1. Purpose and Objectives

This policy outlines the provisions relating to arrangements for travel and transfer between University locations. The policy supplements inter-campus travel and transfer provisions contained in The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010 – 2013.

2. Definitions, Terms, Acronyms

Enterprise Agreement - The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010 – 2013

Head – Head of organisational unit

Location - a designated University of Queensland workplace, including campuses and other UQ buildings or sites not situated on the four designated campuses, such as research stations, clinical schools and related sites, veterinary or other clinics

Prescribed expenses -

  1. legal fees;
  2. agent's commission;
  3. stamp duty;
  4. fees associated with the transfer of title;
  5. expenses relating to the execution or discharge of a first mortgage; and
  6. any reasonable costs as determined by the Senior Executive Officer of advertising for sale of a dwelling-house.

Senior Executive Officer - Provost/Executive Dean/Institute Director/Chief Operating Officer/relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor

3. Policy Scope/Coverage

This policy applies to all staff covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

4. Policy Statement

Organisational units which operate across two or more locations require the flexibility to transfer positions based at one location to another to accommodate changing student demand, work demands or work patterns or deliver new course offerings. Some staff, whose base workplace is located at one campus, will also be required by their offer of appointment to work at one or more other locations.

4.1 Transfer

When positions based at one location are to be transferred to another, incumbents will be consulted and, if prepared to move, may be given assistance with relocation, depending on the distance or travel time involved. Alternative options, available to staff for whom it is not reasonably practicable to remain in their existing residence and commute to the new location, include redeployment, voluntary separation, and, as a last resort, retrenchment consistent with the Enterprise Agreement.

4.2 Travel

There may be a requirement for staff to work at more than one location as their normal places of employment as specified in their offer of appointment. Such staff will, whenever possible, work for a whole day at one of these normal places of employment and commute to and from work at their own expense. Where it is necessary to work for part of a day elsewhere from the base workplace or other normal place of employment, the University, will provide return transport from one location to the other by the most cost-effective and practicable means.

5. Transfer Between Locations

Staff will usually work at a base workplace, where they will spend the majority of their time, each semester in the case of academic staff, or on a fortnightly basis for professional staff. In accordance with the principles set out in its Enterprise Agreement, the University will consult with staff whose position is to be transferred from a current base place of work to another location. If staff will be required to travel from their existing home to the new place of work for longer than 60 minutes by public transport, or a distance greater than 50 kilometres, they will be eligible for payment of relocation expenses specified below under Transfer Arrangements and up to three days paid special leave to enable them to move household. If a staff member subsequently resigns voluntarily within two years of transfer to the new workplace, the person will be required to repay a pro-rata amount of the relocation expenses paid by the University.

If a staff member does not wish to continue in their existing position when transferred to the new workplace the University will, in the first instance, seek to redeploy the staff member within the existing location to a suitable position at a similar level.

Where it is not reasonably practicable for the staff member to remain in his or her existing residence and commute to the new location, acceptance of transfer to the new location is voluntary and staff will be given support as appropriate to facilitate the change. Each staff member for whom it is not reasonably practicable to remain in his or her existing residence will be eligible for a voluntary separation package. Those staff will have 20 working days to decide whether to work at the new location or accept a voluntary separation package, from the time the requirement to transfer the position is formally notified by the Head. An eligible staff member who chooses not to transfer or accept voluntary separation, and who cannot be redeployed will, as a last resort, be retrenched. If it is reasonably practicable for a staff member to remain in his or her existing residence and commute to the new location, but the staff member does not wish to work there and cannot be redeployed, the employment relationship will be terminated.

Positions transferred from one location to another must remain at the same level to engage the provisions of this policy. If a position is no longer required at one location and, instead, a position will be created at a different level at another location, the position will be treated as redundant and the incumbent will be entitled to the provisions set out in the Enterprise Agreement concerning restructuring and managing change. If the new position is to be created at a higher level the staff member may be given the opportunity to work in the new position in accordance with PPL 5.30.07b Selection and Appointment - Internal Appointments - Procedures.

5.1 Transfer arrangements

If the staff member elects to transfer to the new workplace, a date and arrangements for the move will be agreed with the Head. For staff required to travel from their existing home to the new place of work for longer than 60 minutes by public transport, or a distance greater than 50 kilometres, the University will pay reasonable relocation expenses in accordance with the guidelines for payment of relocation expenses (see Section 7). The Head may also grant up to three days special leave to undertake the move of the staff member's household.

Eligible staff will retain their entitlement to assistance with relocation expenses and paid special leave for two years from the time they commence work at the new location. This allows staff to move their household at a time that best suits family or other commitments.

5.2 Alternatives to transfer

If the staff member is unable to continue in their existing position at the new workplace because it is not reasonably practicable to remain in his or her existing residence and commute to the new location the following options will be available:

  • redeployment (which includes a commitment to retraining),
  • voluntary separation, or
  • retrenchment.

5.2.1 Redeployment

If the staff member requests redeployment within the same location, the University will immediately attempt to find and offer to the staff member a suitable position at a similar level in accordance with the University's redeployment policy, unless it is apparent there are no positions available, suitable for the staff member's skills, training and experience. The redeployment process can include, at the staff member's request, advertising internally for expressions of interest to fill the vacant position at the new location. Appointment to fill the position would be on merit and on the proviso that the incumbent of the position at the old location would redeploy into the new appointee's previous position.

The search for such a position will extend for a period of up to one month. The staff member may be required to undertake re-training for an available position, if one is identified, and reasonable expenses will be met by the University.

If a suitable position is found, a trial period of three months will be required for professional staff, or to the end of the full semester following the decision to redeploy for academic staff. At the end of this period, the Senior Executive Officer will review the trial with the staff member and the appointment will either be confirmed, or the staff member will be offered a voluntary separation package or be retrenched, if eligible, after the procedures outlined in the University's redeployment policy have been exhausted.

In the event of a member of staff being redeployed to new duties for which the prescribed rate of pay is higher than the previous rate of pay, then such higher rate will apply as from the date of transfer.

In the event of a staff member agreeing to be redeployed to new duties for which the prescribed rate of pay is lower than that previously paid, then the pre-existing higher salary shall continue to be paid to that person for a period of three months from the date of such redeployment for professional staff, or the end of the trial period as applicable for academic staff. Following this period, payment will revert to the level of the new position. Work-related allowances (e.g. proficiency, leading hand, etc. but not including disabilities, tool, toilet cleaning, etc. allowances) shall be taken into account for the purposes of determining the prescribed rate of pay on redeployment.

5.2.1.1 Trial transfer

During the one month search for a redeployment opportunity, the staff member may elect to work in their proposed position at the new location on a trial basis. This should enable the staff member to trial travel arrangements to and from the new workplace and gauge the impact, if any, on other domestic concerns. At the end of this trial period, the staff member may choose to accept permanent transfer to the new location, or, if the search for redeployment at the old location has proved unsuccessful, will be entitled to a voluntary separation package.

5.2.2 Voluntary separation – professional staff

A member of the professional staff will have 10 working days to signify their acceptance of the offer of a voluntary separation package. If voluntary separation is accepted:

  • The staff member receives in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement the statutory notice period or payment in lieu (four or five weeks if over 45); and
  • The staff member receives in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement two weeks' pay for each completed year of service, subject to a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 64 weeks; and
  • If the voluntary separation is accepted within one week of the date of offer the staff member will receive payment for the remainder of a transition period of three weeks from the date the staff member was advised by the Head of the transfer of the position to the new workplace.

5.2.3 Retrenchment

5.2.3.1 Non-voluntary redundancy payment – professional staff

A member of the professional staff for whom it is not reasonably practicable to remain in his or her existing residence and commute to the new workplace, who cannot be redeployed within the existing location and who does not choose to take a voluntary separation package, will be paid a non-voluntary redundancy payment in accordance with clause 48.17 of the Enterprise Agreement following on the termination of their services.

5.2.3.2 Non-voluntary redundancy payment – academic staff

A member of the academic staff for whom it is not reasonably practicable to remain in his or her existing residence, who is not redeployed within the existing location, will be given a non-voluntary redundancy payment and will leave the University at the earliest opportunity. The non-voluntary redundancy payment will be an amount calculated in accordance with the method set out in clause 48.16 of the Enterprise Agreement.

Where any doubt exists concerning a claim for eligibility for payment of relocation expenses, with respect to the criteria of 60 minutes travel time by public transport from home to the new workplace, or car travel by the most practical route for a distance of greater than 50 kilometres, the claim is to be verified on behalf of the Head by the organisational unit’s Administrative Officer, or an alternative Head's nominee.

Before the move is undertaken, authorisation for payment of removal costs for eligible staff will be subject to the submission of three quotes to the Head. Approval for reimbursement of other expenses is subject to production of receipts.

6. Travel Between Locations

If a staff member is required to work part of the day at another location, or elsewhere, the University will provide transport by the most cost-effective and practicable means to and from one of the normal places of employment to the other workplace. For professional staff, all time necessarily spent in travelling outside normal working hours in excess of 30 minutes shall be deemed to be working time, paid at the normal rate.

Certain new staff employed at campuses or locations located within the Brisbane metropolitan area, Ipswich and Gatton will have a base workplace designated at one campus or location and may also be required by their offer of appointment to work for a whole day at one or more other locations as normal places of employment. The University will not meet travel expenses to or from work when these staff are required to work for the whole day at either their base workplace, or one of the nominated alternative normal places of employment. It is anticipated that newly appointed staff would establish their home at the most convenient location for them to travel to any of the locations constituting their normal places of employment. Staff required to work a whole day at an alternative location to their base workplace should, except in exigent circumstances, be given at least 24 hours notice to enable them to vary their personal travel and domestic arrangements as necessary.

If, subsequent to appointment, it is intended to change the designated base workplace from one location to another the change will be treated as a transfer of the position and will be dealt with according to the preceding section on transfer.

There may be occasions, where subsequent to appointment, a staff member is required to work at an alternative workplace not previously designated as a normal place of employment in the offer of appointment. In that event, the staff member would only be expected to work part of the day at the alternative location. However, the staff member may elect to work for the whole day at the alternative workplace and travel from and to home at their own expense in the staff member's own time. If the staff member were to agree to this new working arrangement to be undertaken for one or more days per week on a regular basis for more than one year, the staff member would subsequently be eligible for payment of relocation expenses and up to three days special leave on the same conditions as staff whose position is transferred from a base workplace at one location to another. This will enable them to move their household to a location more convenient for travel to their base and alternative workplaces constituting their normal places of employment.

The offer of appointment made to staff will designate a base workplace and any other normal places of employment as part of the conditions of employment. If a base workplace has not been designated it will be the location where the staff member customarily spends the majority of their working time. The situation with travel entitlements, depending on the relevant conditions of appointment, is summarised in Table 1.

Table 1. Travel between work locations

Conditions of Appointment

Travel to Work for Whole Day from and to Home

Travel to Work at Alternative Places of Employment for Part of Day

Base Workplace only, as designated in offer of appointment or by custom.

Own expense in own time.

May elect travel to alternative workplace at own expense in own time*.

University provides transport by most cost-effective and practicable means.

Base Workplace and alternative locations designated as normal places of employment in offer of appointment.

Own expense in own time.

University provides transport by most cost-effective and practicable means.

 

* Eligible for payment of relocation expenses and special leave if travel to alternative location is more than 60 minutes by public transport or distance greater than 50 km from home, provided they are required to work for one or more days per week on a regular basis at the alternative workplace for more than one year.

The Head will determine any requirement for a staff member to work at a location other than the person's base place of work.

6.1 Cost-effective and practicable means of transport

If the Head requires a staff member to work part of the day at an alternative workplace, then the most cost-effective and practicable means of transport will be provided by the University from and return to the staff member's base workplace. Where possible, scheduled University bus services will be used in the first instance. Alternatively, public transport, a University vehicle or taxi may be authorised by the Head, whichever is most cost-effective and practicable. Reimbursement for the use of private vehicles may only be authorised as a last resort, where it is demonstrably the most cost-effective and practicable option. The opportunity cost of staff time should be taken into account in determining cost-effectiveness and practicability.

7. Payment of Relocation Expenses

(a) The Senior Executive Officer may authorise payment to a staff member of:

  1. the reasonable costs incurred in relocating himself or herself (and dependants), including reasonable costs for removal, storage and delivery of furniture and personal effects; and
  2. an allowance comprising two-thirds of the expenses necessarily incurred by himself or herself (and dependants), in residing at a hotel or boarding-house.

If the staff member (and dependants) are commencing or continuing the journey to the new locality from their previous residence, this allowance will ordinarily be paid for up to one week in total.

If the staff member (and dependants) are residing at a hotel or boarding-house while waiting to secure a place of residence in the new locality, this allowance will be paid in the first instance for up to 4 weeks in total. This can be extended by up to a further 4 week period if the Senior Executive Officer is satisfied that staff member is unable to secure a place of residence in the new locality after having made all reasonable efforts to do so. If the second 4 week period is exhausted and the staff member has been unable to secure a place of residence in the new locality, and the Senior Executive Officer is satisfied that in the circumstances of a particular case it is just and equitable to do so, he or she may authorise the payment of an allowance at a rate per week determined by the Senior Executive Officer for a period not exceeding 5 weeks.

(b) If a staff member is entitled to receive the expenses and allowances payable under these guidelines he or she is also entitled to be paid an incidentals allowance of five days salary to compensate the staff member for: 

  1. the value of the increased depreciation of, and the additional wear and tear on, the basic household furniture and effects resulting from the transfer; and
  2. the cost of the replacement or alteration of carpets, linoleum, curtains, blinds, and household effects necessitated by the transfer; and
  3. incidental costs associated with establishing a new place of residence (eg telephone, utility reconnection, transaction costs associated with changing rental premises).

(c) A staff member who relocates is also entitled to receive a property allowance for reimbursement of prescribed expenses incurred by him or her:

  1. in the sale of the dwelling house:

(a) owned and occupied by him or her as principal place of residence;

(b) which he or she was purchasing as principal place of residence under a contract of sale providing for vacant possession; or

(c) which he or she was constructing for his or her own permanent occupation, on completion of construction, at the date on which it became necessary to move to the new locality;  

  1. in the purchase of a principal place of residence, or land for the purpose of erecting a principal place of residence on the land in the new locality; or
  2. both in the sale of a principal place of residence and in the purchase of a principal place of residence or land.

(d) The property allowance payable under (c) in respect of a sale, purchase, or sale and purchase, is either:

  1. An amount which is equal to the actual expenses incurred; or
  1. Where a staff member is the owner jointly or in common with another person who is not their spouse; de facto partner, or dependant the property allowance payable not exceed an amount which is equal to the proportion of the prescribed expenses for which he or she is responsible.

(e) An application by a staff member for a property or an incidentals allowance under these guidelines shall be accompanied by sufficient evidence of the payment by the staff member of the prescribed expenses. Reasonable incidental costs associated with establishing a new principal place of residence greater than allowed under clause (b)(3) will be reimbursed on presentation of evidence of payment.

(f) Except on the decision of the Senior Executive Officer, a staff member is not entitled to the payment of a property allowance in respect of a sale or purchase of property which is effected:

  1. More than 2 years after the date on which the staff member takes up duty in a new locality; or
  2. After the date on which he or she receives notification that he or she is being transferred back to the old locality.
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)
Custodians
Director, Human Resources
Mr Bill Kernahan (Acting)