TOIL policy

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    Contents 

    • Introduction
    • Purpose
    • Legislation
    • Date policy last reviewed
    • Scope
    • TOIL - Definition
    • Healthy Work Life Balance
    • Additional hours
    • Planning in advance
    • Authorisation of TOIL
    • Flexibility of working hours
    • Working Time Regulations
    • Operation of TOIL
    • Recording of TOIL
    • Operation of TOIL When Travelling Away Including at the Weekend and Maximum Hours
    • Contract End
    • Appeal 


    Introduction

    • This guidance is for managers and staff and sets out how Time off in Lieu (TOIL) will operate at Oxford Brookes University. 
    • TOIL is defined as time off, taken with prior agreement from the line manager, when an employee has been asked by the Head of Department (Senior Staff Level), or equivalent level manager, to work beyond their contracted hours to complete a specific piece of work as set out in the section headed “TOIL - Definition”, which is voluntary.  It is not part of normal flexible working arrangements.  This policy overrides any previous local practice.  As different practices have existed in different areas of the University this new policy will take immediate effect except  in Faculties/Directorates where any one member of staff has more than 50 hours of TOIL already banked.  Where any member of staff has more than 50 hours of TOIL banked, the whole Faculty/Directorate will have a lead in time of 3 months to allow banked TOIL hours to be reduced down to meet the maximum allowed under this policy (50 hours).
    • This TOIL policy does not currently apply to field trips.
    • This policy replaces all existing policies or practices whether formal or informal at Oxford Brookes University.

    Purpose

    • This policy seeks to create a consistent and flexible approach to working arrangements that enables employees and the University to manage fluctuations in work requirements that are not accommodated through normal flexible working practices.

    Legislation

    • This policy is guided by the following pieces of legislation.
      • Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833)

    Date policy last reviewed

    • This policy was created: December 2021

    Scope

    • This policy applies to all Professional Services Staff at Oxford Brookes University who are not on academic or senior staff contracts i.e. Professional Services staff up to and including grade 12 and does not apply to claim based staff.  There is a separate TOIL agreement in place for the TimeTabling Team and Exams Team within ASA relating to TOIL which should be followed by TimeTabling staff in their TimeTabling role only and the Exams team staff in their Exams role  Should TimeTabling staff or Exams Staff hold any other role alongside that of their TimeTabling role or Exams role, they should follow this policy for any TOIL deemed necessary by the relevant Head of Department Level manager (Senior Staff Level) for the non Timetabling professional services role or the Exams professional service role.  

    TOIL - Definition

    • TOIL stands for Time Off In Lieu. This is where an employee works pre approved additional hours and is compensated with taking the time off at another point.  Use of TOIL should be unusual.  This policy is only to be used for anticipated situations, including but not limited to: open/applicant days, graduation, International Recruitment Fairs, arrivals weekend or unanticipated situations such as an IT system failure that requires urgent action to remedy.  The accrual of TOIL requires authorisation in writing in advance by a manager at Head of Department/Head of Operations/Executive Team level (Senior Staff Level).  Other situations could  be considered but prior agreement should be given by a manager at the appropriate  Head of Department level (Senior Staff Level). 
    • N.B. TOIL is not appropriate to be used for general flexible working as this is covered in the Flexi-time Policy and the University Flexible Working Policy.

    Healthy Work Life Balance

    • Oxford Brookes University has a commitment to ensuring that employees maintain a healthy work-life balance and will try to ensure that the need to work additional hours is kept to a minimum, while maintaining essential operations.  Full-time professional services staff are contracted to work for 37 hours per week (excluding lunch breaks), spread over a five-day period.  This is normally Monday to Friday, unless an alternative provision has been made to the contract of employment or in a contract amendment document such as a different working pattern or a different number of contracted hours. 
    • Workplace arrival and departure times are as agreed with the employee’s immediate line manager, and may vary from day to day or period to period with the line manager’s agreement in advance.  If an employee requires guaranteed start and finish times or a particular working pattern over a longer period then they should apply through the Change in Hours and Pattern of Work Requests.

    Additional hours  

    • The working of additional hours is voluntary and there is no contractual entitlement to be paid overtime or granted TOIL.  
    • Where a job description states that the post holder is required to work at the weekend, for example, and specifically states that TOIL will be given rather than having a flexible working pattern, then TOIL in this circumstance will not be voluntary. 
    • TOIL only applies to additional periods of work at the weekend or either before or after the employee’s normal working day.  N.B. Where staff are expected to carry out work at a weekend or in the evening as a core part of their role, e.g. during student enrolment and open/applicant days, international recruitment fairs, their working pattern should be adjusted for that period.  Where possible, the individual should take an alternative rest day during the same working week. Where this is not possible, time is accrued on a “hour for hour basis” and taken as soon as is practicable. To be clear they would not accrue TOIL inline with this policy. 
    • Heads of Department and line managers must plan in advance the most effective way of achieving service needs, in order to minimise the need for the working of additional hours. 
    • TOIL should not be accrued on a regular basis; it should be an unusual event rather than the norm. Only Heads of Department (Senior Staff Level) or higher can authorise the accrual of TOIL when all other mechanisms, such as adjusting the working pattern for that week,  have been exhausted. Accrual of TOIL should be unusual, managers who have staff accruing TOIL on a regular basis must look at the working pattern so that the working pattern can be adjusted to meet the needs of the role as appropriate.

    Planning in advance

    • TOIL is intended to be planned and authorised in advance.  It is not intended that it will be worked on an ad hoc basis and cannot be accrued until its accrual has been authorised by a manager at an appropriate senior staff level (see the section headed TOIL - Definition).  Flexible working patterns should be requested using  the University Flexible Working Policy.  TOIL does not apply to lunch periods and Managers should ensure that staff get the appropriate lunch break each day, to ensure compliance with Working Time Regulations.

    Authorisation of TOIL

    • All TOIL must be agreed and authorised by a manager at the appropriate senior staff level (see the section headed TOIL - Definition) before additional hours are worked. If this authorisation is not in place, any additional hours undertaken will not qualify for TOIL and will be lost. Employees should not undertake TOIL until it has been authorised by a Head of Department or equivalent level (Senior Staff Level).

    Flexibility of working hours

    • TOIL is not intended to be used to facilitate flexible working on a daily basis.  Staff who require this flexibility should follow the University Flexible Working Policy.  An example of flexible working is where an employee whose normal time of departure is significantly delayed by an overrunning meeting at the end of the day, resulting in them leaving late.  This time would not qualify as TOIL but should be taken with agreement with the line manager the following day or later the same week, by coming in later, going home earlier or taking a longer lunch break.
    • Examples of situations in which  TOIL might be appropriate are outlined in the section headed TOIL - Definition. In all instances TOIL should be approved by a manager at the appropriate senior staff level  in advance of the additional hours being undertaken - see the section headed TOIL - Definition.

    Working Time Regulations

    • When asking an employee to work additional hours or planning travel for an event in another part of the world, the Working Time Regulations 1998 must be considered.  
    • These Regulations state that an individual:
      • should not work more than an average of 48 hours per week over a rolling 17 week period unless they have “Opted Out” under the Working Time Regulations. Further details can be found here
      • must be allowed at least one day off each week or two days off in a fortnight.  A rest day is not necessarily a Saturday or a Sunday, 
      • should have 11 hours uninterrupted rest in a 24 hour period, 
      • is given at least a 30 minute unpaid break during their shift if their shift lasts six hours or more.

    Operation of TOIL

    • N.B. before reading this section please read all of this policy thoroughly to understand the restricted circumstances in which TOIL might be accrued, the authorisation level required, it's important to have particularly read the sections headed “Flexibility of Working Hours”, “Operation of TOIL When Travelling Away Including at the Weekend”  N.B. Where staff are expected to carry out work at a weekend or in the evening as a core part of their role, e.g. during student enrolment and open/applicant days, international recruitment fairs, their working pattern should be adjusted for that period.  Where possible, the individual should take an alternative rest day during the same working week. Where this is not possible, time is accrued on a “hour for hour basis” and taken as soon as is practicable.  To be clear they would not accrue TOIL. 
    • Agreed hours worked beyond the standard 37 hour working week, or contracted hours for part time staff, may be claimed on the following basis:
      • Maximum banked TOIL is 50 hours.
      • Up to 50 hours of TOIL Accrued -TOIL is awarded on:
        •  a single hourly rate basis for supplementary hours worked between Monday and Friday,
        • at 1.5 x for supplementary hours worked on Saturdays
        • at 2 x on Sundays or Public/Bank Holidays/Concessionary Days. 
        • Please see the section headed “Operation of TOIL When Travelling Away Including at the Weekend and Maximum Hours” which provides details about TOIL accrual in this situation
    • Some employees are contracted to work 5 out of any 7 days. Anybody with this type of contract will only accrue TOIL, provided it has been authorised by Head of Department/Executive Team level (Senior Staff Level) in advance, at the above rates where they have worked their contracted hours already on that particular day. For example, if a person normally works 5 hours on a Sunday but is required to work 2 extra hours on a Sunday then this will be at 2x as detailed in Operation of TOIL above.
    • There is no monetary alternative to TOIL at any point and any TOIL that is not used in line with this policy will be lost.
    • Agreed TOIL hours earned in any calendar month must be taken as soon as possible, ideally within a month, after they are earned to ensure suitable rest periods. If this is not possible, where it is appropriate to the needs of the Faculty/Directorate, TOIL may be taken at any point during the following rolling 12 months. This is subject to Line Management agreement and compliance with the Working Time Regulations as detailed in the section headed “Working Time Regulations”. Where a staff member has accrued TOIL it should be planned in and used before going on maternity/adoption or shared parental leave, and TOIL should not be accrued if it won’t be possible to take the accrued TOIL back.
    • If a person has accrued TOIL but then takes a period of long term sickness then in these exceptional circumstances it may be possible to carry the TOIL forward and be used during the first month of return from sick leave in agreement with the PVC Dean/Director.
    • No more than 50 hours of TOIL may be held at any time and any additional hours will be lost. It should be unusual for staff to be holding 50 hours as TOIL is expected to ordinarily be being taken within a month of being accrued.
    • Staff who leave their post, whether to go to a new post within the University or to leave the University, should use any accrued TOIL before changing post. TOIL is not permitted to be carried into the new post and no payment will be made for TOIL accrued but not taken. Where a staff member has accrued TOIL it should be planned in and used before the end of their contract and not be accrued if it won’t be possible to take the accrued TOIL back.

    Recording of TOIL

    • Employees and Line Managers must use the Staff HR Portal to record TOIL.  If at the point this policy goes live the Staff HR Portal is not ready to record TOIL then employees and line managers must agree an appropriate mechanism for recording any TOIL such as the  Annual Leave Card or electronic equivalent until a recording mechanism is rolled out on the Staff HR Portal    
    • Employees are not eligible to accrue TOIL in any period during which they are absent from work at the same time due to illness, annual leave or any other form of leave, unless exceptionally agreed by their Head of Department (Senior Staff Level) and the People Management Team.  For example, if a person is on sick leave on say Wednesday, Thursday and Friday they would not be permitted to earn TOIL on a Saturday.

    Operation of TOIL When Travelling Away Including at the Weekend and Maximum Hours

    • On occasions, staff may be required to travel to a different location.  Examples include, but are not limited to, training courses, graduation events or recruitment events.  These may be  in another part of the country or elsewhere in the world.  Where any employee is travelling to and from an event on the same day, but needs to set out earlier than their normal working day and/or arrive home later than normal this should be managed through normal flexible working,  The additional time should be taken during the same week  to ensure appropriate rest time during the week.  For example, if an employee needs to leave home at 6.30 am instead of 7.00 am  to allow time to travel to an event, the additional 30 minutes can be taken through flexible working during the rest of the week, however if the event and associated travel results in a shorter than normal working day the extra time needed to set off earlier in the morning will be deemed to have been taken back the same day.
    • On occasions, an employee may need to be at a distant location and it may not be  appropriate to travel the same day.  This is likely to be the case when the employee is required to work overseas and needs to travel over the weekend in order to be at the venue at the start of the week.  In this instance travel undertaken at the weekend will accrue TOIL at time and a half (for a maximum of seven and a half hours) when undertaken on a Saturday and/or double time (for a maximum of seven and a half hours) on a Sunday. For example,  if a person travels on a Saturday this will attract TOIL, but the following day, Sunday, provided they are not working, will be considered to be a normal weekend rest day and not attract TOIL.  Should the employee  travel on a Sunday, the hours travelled will attract TOIL.  In this instance the  Saturday will be considered a  normal weekend rest day and would not attract TOIL.
    • If a request is made by the employee, and that request is granted, for an employee to travel  to an event early in order that they can spend some leisure time in the country that the event is situated,  this will not attract TOIL.  If the leisure time falls at the weekend it will be classed as normal weekend rest days assuming their normal working pattern does not include Saturday and Sunday, but if the leisure time falls on a working day in that person’s normal working pattern, the employee must use their annual leave. 
    • Managers and employees should plan to include adequate rest time during the trip.  If this  is not possible TOIL accrual can be agreed at the Head of Departments (Senior Staff Level) discretion.  In such cases one TOIL day should be taken immediately after return to the UK.  This should be taken out of the TOIL accrued during the trip.  
    • International travel can be tiring, particularly long haul flights or flights landing during the night.  When this happens, managers should make arrangements for an appropriate rest break before the first appointment.  Managers must agree an itinerary, in writing, for staff who are going away so that it is clear before the event takes place:
      • which days will attract TOIL (as agreed by the Head of Department or equivalent level manager (Senior Staff Level)), 
      • which will be annual leave, which will be normal contracted hours 
    • so that it is clear in advance, and the Line Manager must lead on this.

    Contract End

    • Any accrued TOIL should be used before the end of an employment contract regardless of the reason for the termination of the contract.  Any TOIL that is not used, for any reason, will be lost and there will be no cash alternative.   Where a staff member has accrued TOIL it should be planned in and  used before the end of their contract and not be accrued if it won’t be possible to take the accrued TOIL back.

    Appeal

    • Any employee who feels the TOIL policy has not been operated in line with this policy may bring a case through the Grievance Policy.