1. Requests for Flexible Work Arrangements
  2. Categories of Requests:
    1. Category 1: Caregiver Scenarios (Childcare, Eldercare)
    2. Category 2: Medical Reasons Scenarios (Physical or Mental Health).
    3. Category 3: Personal Concerns or Preference-based Scenario (may include health and safety related issues)

Requests for Flexible Work Arrangements

At Carleton, we foster a supportive work environment, which includes a commitment to work with staff in planning for our collective return to campus. You may request an accommodation (based on human rights grounds such as medical or family status) or a request for a flexible work arrangement that falls outside of your departmental return to campus plan. There are some things that are good to know and will guide you through such requests:

  • Any request for flexibility should start with an exploratory conversation between you and your manager, to build a shared understanding of the full nature of the request. Most requests will fall under one of three categories: caregiver, medical, or personal concerns/preferences. (See below)
  • Based on this conversation, your manager will need to determine if the request indicates a human rights-based accommodation (i.e., caregiver or medical) or a preference for flexible arrangements. Accommodations are based on a human rights ground while personal preferences are discretionary and based on operational requirements. This is an important legal distinction.
  • Managers do not have the authority to agree to any flexibility beyond the fall semester of 2021. .
  • All requested flexible work arrangements (i.e. ones that fall outside the departmental plan’s flexibility requirements) must be documented using the Flexible Working Arrangement Form, which is submitted by the employee and reviewed by the manager. Before any approval can be provided, the form and request must also be reviewed by Human Resources to understand the impact on the conditions of employment, possible legal requirements, and to ensure consistency across the University, alignment with general guidelines, and operational needs. HR will respond to your manager with next steps.
  • Remember that you can also use paid and unpaid leave to navigate flexible arrangement and accommodations needs. Access to these types of leave depends on your employment status with the University. Using leave (paid or unpaid) may provide the time and space to care for loved ones or to meet your own needs.
  • Note that remote work outside of the Ottawa region carries significant risk and liabilities with which the University may not be able to comply. Should any accommodation or preference requests involve remote work outside of Ontario (including internationally), HR will contact your manager for a formal review.

Categories of Requests:

Requests for flexibility will fall into three categories, outlined below:

Category 1: Caregiver Scenarios (Childcare, Eldercare)

You may ask for flexible work arrangement to accommodate caregiver responsibilities at home. This can include situations where you are required to (a) care for children not yet able to return to school or daycare, (b) provide active care to another person for any circumstances, or (c) provide care to a medically fragile child or person.

Category 2: Medical Reasons Scenarios (Physical or Mental Health).

This follows Carleton’s medical accommodation process, which requires medical documentation for any prolonged illness. Note that, medical accommodations apply to personal medical reasons only; staff requests for flexibility to care for the medical needs of another individual fall under the Caregiver Scenario (Category 1, above). Please contact Human Resources for more information regarding medical accommodations.

Category 3: Personal Concerns or Preference-based Scenario (may include health and safety related issues)

You may have a personal desire to continue working from home or hesitancy to return to campus. These are considered personal requests or preferences and any flexible arrangement agreements must be documented. Please bear in mind that before approval for any department to return to campus, the Return to Campus committee fully evaluates and approves departmental plans from a health and safety perspective. If you have any concerns from a health and safety perspective, your manager will be able to speak with you about what has been done to ensure a safe return to campus.