Modified Work Week Guidelines

According to Article 24 of the CUPE Collective Agreement, a modified work week is defined as:

"an organization of the hours of work agreed to by the University and the employee to provide fewer but longer working days. Any such modification will be arranged so that the total number of hours worked bi-weekly is seventy (70)."

Although most employees working modiified work weeks are on a 9 day fortnight, some work 4 day weeks of 8 hour and 45 minute days and a handful of employees work 3 day weeks of 11 hours and 40 minutes each day. The following is a set of general guidelines for dealing with all modiified work weeks:

  1. COSTS (Article 24)
    The University will not incur any appreciable additional costs as a result of the implementation of the Modified Work Week.

  2. STATUTORY HOLIDAYS (Article 32)
    All employees on a modified work week receive a credit of 7 hours for statutory holidays and the difference between the time usually worked and the 7 hours must be made up. For example, an employee working a 9 day fortnight of 7 hour and 47 minute days would have to make up the outstanding 47 minutes. Usually, the time is made up within the same bi-weekly pay period.

  3. VACATION (Article 34)
    Employees are credited for a certain number of vacation days based on their calendar years of service. Employees' vacation entitlements are converted to hours. When vacation time is taken, the usual number of hours worked is subtracted from the entitlement. Therefore, an employee who is on vacation and usually works a 9 day fortnight will have 7 hours and 47 minutes deducted for each day of vacation that falls on a day when the employee would have worked.

  4. SICK LEAVE (Article 35)
    The recording of sick leave is handled in the same way as vacation. An employee who is absent due to illness will have the number of hours that would have been worked on the day of the illness recorded as casual or sick leave.

  5. MEAL BREAKS (Article 30)
    All employees must take an unpaid meal break of at least one half (1/2) hour.

  6. RELIEF PERIODS (Article 31)
    Employees are entitled to two 15 minute paid relief periods (coffee breaks) for each full shift worked. One relief period must be taken part way through the first one-half of the work period and the other part way through the second one-half. The collective agreement allows supervisors and employees to make mutually agreeable arrangements for taking relief periods, but such arrangements cannot result in a shorter work day or longer meal break on a regular basis.

These are some common issues faced by employees and supervisors of employees on modified work weeks. If you have any questions regarding the above or other modified work week issues, please contact your HR Advisor.