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Hybrid Work Procedure

Hybrid Work Procedure

Topic: Employees, Employment and Workplace
Approval Authority: President and Vice-Chancellor
Approval Date: June 22, 2022
Effective Date: September 1, 2022

1. Purpose

York University’s commitment to supporting a vibrant on-campus learning and working environment guides Hybrid Work Arrangement (HWA) decisions. This Procedure sets out the process to apply the Hybrid Work Policy (“Policy”) including delineating responsibilities, establishing the type of HWA, and requirements/obligations related to working remotely.

Relevant definitions are located in the Hybrid Work Policy.

2. Responsibilities Related to HWA

2.1 People Managers

Prior to the establishment of a HWA, People Managers should understand Faculty/Division/Department/Unit Integrated Resource Plans and the resulting operational requirements/needs.

People Managers will:

a. Consider how their team works and delivers services through a lens of service excellence as part of an on-campus, in-person university as well as the importance of collegial working relationships among team members and individual preferences.

b. Apply a lens of equity and inclusion to assess HWAs in a fair, consistent, and equitable manner.

c. Make recommendations regarding Staff HWAs to Senior People Managers to whom they report.

d. Review the HWAs annually or more frequently, if needed, to assess the effectiveness and modify if needed.

e. Ensure compliance with the Hybrid Work Policy and related policies, and procedure(s).

f. Review Staff submitted “Remote Workspace Health and Safety Checklists” to address any concerns and ensure adequacy of remote work locations.

2.2 Staff

The HWA is only in effect while Staff are in their current position.

Staff will:

a. Review and adhere to the terms of the Hybrid Work Policy and related policies, and procedures.

b. Report any changes in their Remote Work Location to their People Manager.

c. Establish a suitable remote workspace in the Remote Work Location with minimal distractions/interruptions.

d. Review “Health & Safety Requirements for Remote Workspaces” to establish a suitable remote workspace in the Remote Work Location.

e. Ensure appropriate child and elder care arrangements to enable Staff to be available in the same manner as when working on-campus.

f. Continue to submit all absences in advance for approval in the Time Reporting Tool (TRT).

2.3 Departments

Departments manage University property including technology/equipment, tools, and supplies.

Departments will:

a. Provide the necessary technology and equipment to Staff with a HWA to perform their work (see University Property section 9).

b. Departments are responsible for necessary equipment costs and any purchases must be reasonable and adhere to the University’s Procurement of Goods and Services Policy and Procedures.

c. Maintain an inventory of technology and equipment provided to Staff Remote Work Locations.

d. Ensure that University property is returned when the HWA has been terminated or Staff leave the University.

e. Ensure that appropriate space planning is considered, and workspaces are available for Staff working on University Campuses.

3. HWAs

There are different ways of working at the University. For some Staff, the performance of their work requires them to be physically present on University Campuses (“on- campus employee”), interacting with persons, accessing campus facilities, equipment and tools. For other Staff, the performance of their work may allow more flexibility in the location where their work is performed.  For these Staff, in keeping with being an on-campus, in-person university, some in-person work is required recognizing that the performance of some of their work can also be completed remotely.

Staff are deemed to have an approved HWA if they work at least one day of their work week remotely. The remote and on-campus days generally do not vary.

In accordance with the Hybrid Work Policy, requested HWAs that seek to work only remotely are generally not available, though may be approved in exceptional circumstances by the Divisional Vice-President.

People Managers may exercise discretion and flexibility to adjust HWAs as necessary including approving ad hoc remote workdays when their direct Staff, including “on-campus Staff”, request to work remotely on an occasional basis, for a specific incidental reason, or related to a work assignment.

People Managers may also require Staff to work on University Campuses, outside of their HWA (e.g. for important meetings, special events, during peak service periods). Staff are provided as much notice as possible, that attendance on University Campuses is required.

Staff with a HWA will normally provide the University with a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days’ written notice of a request to discontinue working remotely, which will be subject to a People Manager’s approval. In exceptional circumstances, People Managers may approve a written notice of request to return to work on campus with less than thirty (30) calendar days written notice.

4. Annual Reporting

Human Resources will develop a standardized report for Senior People Managers to file a summary of HWAs, including any exceptional decisions, for their area of responsibility with their Divisional Vice-Presidents office for review by the President’s Office November 1st of every year.

5. Hybrid Work Locations

The Hybrid Work Location as defined in the Hybrid Work Policy is categorized as:

  • Primary Workspace is the location where Staff work three or more days per week.
  • Secondary Workspace is the location where Staff work two or less days per week.

As good stewards of building spaces, Staff whose Primary Workspace is not on University Campuses may not be provided with a designated workspace on University Campuses. Staff may be required to share a workspace, work in an alternate workstation, meeting room, office or “hotelling” space. Departments should consider space planning and in particular, the use of on-campus workspaces based on the needs of Staff to perform their job duties.

The Remote Work Location of Staff who work 100% remotely, with exception-based approval from their Divisional Vice-President, is considered to have a remote Primary Workspace without a designated workspace on University Campuses.

6. Working outside of the Province/Country

Staff are required to reside in a location in the Province of Ontario that allows them to attend at University Campuses when needed, at their People Manager’s discretion. As a result of legal employment-related implications to Staff living and working outside of the Province of Ontario, continuous remote work outside of the province/country is generally not available.

While out of province/country HWAs are generally not available, the University may permit, in rare and extenuating circumstances, Staff to perform the duties of their position outside the Province of Ontario for up to ninety (90) calendar days in a one-year period on the approval of a Divisional Vice-President.

People Managers, in consultation with Human Resources, may approve ad hoc requests to work outside the Province of Ontario for a limited and defined duration that in no single instance is greater than twenty (20) working days provided operational requirements are maintained and there is no expectation that Staff would need to be physically present on University Campuses during this time.

The University has no obligation to approve out of province/country work under any circumstances. Approval will be documented and reviewed by Human Resources.

7. Performance

Staff are expected to meet performance expectations while participating in a HWA. The arrangement should not result in a change in workload.

8. Working Remotely

Staff will be available for contact by the University while working remotely in the same manner as when working on-campus, outside of unpaid meal breaks or paid breaks, as applicable and pursuant to the University’s Disconnecting from Work Policy.

Staff should report to their People Manager any issue (i.e. with equipment or internet connections) that prevents them from performing their work while working off University Campuses and within reason shall continue to be paid while the issue is resolved.

In unforeseen circumstances, every reasonable effort should be made between the People Manager and Staff to ensure flexibility and adjust work expectations accordingly.

9. Requesting Absences

Staff will follow established procedures for all absences from work as outlined in the CPM Standard Operating Procedures and the YUSA-1 and YUSA-2 collective agreements, as applicable. This includes:

  • vacation requests
  • sick leave requests (If unable to carry out the duties of their position, when working remotely, due to illness or injury, Staff will follow normal protocol for reporting the absence.)
  • other leaves of absence Staff are entitled to i.e. personal days

Any absence request must be submitted for approval, in advance, in the Time Reporting Tool (TRT). If requesting approval for overtime, the collective agreement process or the CPM Other Paid Time, Overtime Pay and Time Off in Lieu SOP should be followed.

10. University Property

The University will provide Staff with HWAs reasonable and necessary technology/equipment to support work in their Primary Workspace (working three days or more in a location). Technology/equipment may be apportioned between the Primary Workspace and Secondary Workspace.

  • When Staff, working Remote Workdays or the Primary Workspace is not on University Campuses, attends University Campuses to work, they must bring the necessary equipment (e.g. laptop) or confirm that technology/equipment is available on University Campuses to perform their job.
  • Staff will notify the University if any problems or difficulties arise with the operation of the equipment and will be required to attend at a designated University location with the equipment to allow for the replacement, service or repair of the equipment.
  • An inventory of technology and equipment provided to Staff’s Remote Work Location must be maintained and kept current.

Any technology/equipment provided by York University remains the property of the University.  Staff must take all reasonable steps to protect any University resources from theft, damage, or misuse.

11. Return of University Property

When a HWA ends for any reason, Staff must return all University property including equipment/technology that was provided. The technology/equipment should be returned in the same condition in which it was originally received, aside from normal wear and tear.

University property in the form of information must also be returned to the University, and all copies or reproductions thereof must be returned.

12. Office Supplies

Office supplies are available on University Campuses for Staff use in the performance of their work. The University may reimburse Staff for the cost of other pre-approved work-related consumables as per University protocols.

13. Insurance

It is the responsibility of Staff to consult with an insurance agent for any coverage implications that may arise from working remotely.

The University will not be held liable for any damages to Staff property or for any injuries to family members, visitors, or others in the Staff Remote Work Location.

14. Costs

Staff are responsible for costs related to their Remote Work Location (e.g., sufficient quality Internet access, residential phone, utilities, home maintenance, property or liability insurance, or other incidental expenses).

Staff will not be reimbursed for any costs not pre-approved by their People Manager in accordance with University policies, procedures and guidelines. Staff are responsible for travel and parking costs incurred between their Remote Work Location and the University Campuses.

The University does not assume any responsibility with respect to the decision of Staff to make a deduction for workspace-in the-home expenses on their tax return. Any communication or resource materials provided to Staff by the University in respect of potential deductions are not to be considered tax advice.

15. Health and Safety - Remote Workspaces

Staff will complete the University’s “Remote Workspace Health and Safety Checklist”.

Reporting procedures continue to apply for any workplace incident in which Staff are involved that occurs in the Remote Work Location during scheduled work hours while Staff are performing work tasks.

In the event of an injury while working remotely, Staff must contact their People Manager immediately (or as circumstances permit) to report their injury and receive information about obtaining medical treatment.

York University will not be held responsible for injuries incurred by others in the Remote Work Location.

16. Remote Work Location Setup

Staff are responsible for adequately equipping and setting up an appropriate remote workspace in a Remote Work Location to ensure their safety.

When working remotely, the remote workspace in the Remote Work Location must be maintained in good condition and free from hazards to ensure a healthy and safe work environment. The Remote Workspace Health and Safety Checklist must be completed and submitted. People Managers will review the Checklists and assist staff with any necessary adjustments to their remote work location.

Staff requesting a medical accommodation for an ergonomic office setup must do so in accordance with the Accommodation in Employment for Persons with Disabilities Policy and Procedure and should contact the Employee Well Being Office.

17. Workplace Accommodation

Staff with a HWA seeking accommodation for medical needs and limitations can maintain the HWA provided the arrangement is safe and operationally sustainable.

For Staff who are required to be physically present on University Campuses, consideration will be given to the integration of HWAs into gradual return to work programs, where possible, provided the arrangement is safe and operationally sustainable.

18. Workplace Violence and Harassment

Staff working from a Remote Work Location are required to report incidents of harassment or violence that occur in the workplace as well as behaviours that may indicate a risk of workplace violence.

Staff should follow the same reporting requirements as outlined in Workplace Harassment Prevention Program and the Violence Prevention Program. Staff are encouraged to review the related policies.

19. Information Security, Privacy and Confidentiality

Staff must comply with all University policies, procedures, guidelines, and best practices related to information technology and information security including, but not limited to:

  • installation of operating system and software updates
  • use of current and up to date anti-virus software including using Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • password protection of electronic equipment
  • protection of passwords
  • be cautious of using email/internet and email spam/ phishing
  • sending restricted data
  • not downloading or installing unsolicited files
  • avoiding peer to peer file sharing
  • turning on the computer’s firewall

Staff are also expected to follow these guidelines:

  • take extra precautions to protecting the confidentiality of any privileged and/or confidential University information while it is being transported to and from their remote work location
  • ensure that University proprietary information is kept in a secure location within the work location and other members of their household do not have access to confidential or personal information
  • notify their People Manager as soon as they become aware of any loss or damage to any University property while in their possession.
  • Staff will require access to the University systems through high-speed internet service and the virtual private network (VPN). Staff are responsible for the monthly cost of the highspeed internet.

20. Acknowledgement

Staff are required to read the Hybrid Work Policy and Procedure. Once read, Staff are required to access the Acknowledgement in YULearn confirming the following:

  • They have read and understood the Policy and Procedure.
  • Except as amended, terms of employment remain as stated in their most recent letter of appointment save for those terms that have been varied by policy or practice thereafter.
  • All relevant terms of employment whether set out in a letter of offer, collective agreement or policy are incorporated.
Legislative History: Approved by the President June 22, 2022
Date of Next Review: September 1, 2023
Related Policies, Procedures and Guidelines: