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UVM Employee & Labor Relations

Temporary Reduction to Part-Time (Employee Initiated)

In his final year of study toward a degree in education, Tim was required to take a student teaching position. He needed two mornings a week away from his regular full-time position at UVM. Tim requested a temporary reduction in his work time to 80% FTE for the fall and spring semesters with Tuesday and Thursday mornings off to complete his degree. Tim’s supervisor reviewed the work that could be anticipated for the following eight months and determined that portions could be handled by a temporary employee during the week with the proviso that Tim must structure the temporary employee’s work for maximum efficiency.

Carol needed time at home from her regular full-time job to care for her children during the summer months. She knew she could get good childcare each morning, but she wanted to spend the afternoons at home. She asked her supervisor if she could reduce her FTE temporarily from 100% to 50% and work mornings only from June 15 to September 15. Together she and her supervisor considered how the department could operate without compromising quality during the summer months without her efforts and they developed a plan to shift some of Carol’s work over to a colleague whose restricted fund salary did not continue during the summer. Carol could work each morning, prepare her colleague’s afternoon work, and take time to spend with her family until the children were back in school in the fall.

Temporary Reduction to Part-Time Employment

A worktime reduction allows a full-time employee to reduce his or her work hours for a specified time with a corresponding reduction in pay. Unlike regular part-time employment, there is usually a time limit and a clear process for returning to full-time status.

This option is attractive to those who would like to try out a reduced-time commitment with the assurance that they can re-negotiate or terminate the agreement at the end of a specific period of time. Many find the possibility to work at 75% without a reduction in benefits to be very helpful. Health, dental, life, disability insurance, tuition remission and retirement are not reduced at 75% or above. For the department, payroll costs may be reduced without losing a valuable employee.

A temporary reduction to part-time means benefit eligibility is a factor to consider when turning to this alternative. A reduction in a 12-month position to less than 75%, for example, makes the position eligible for part-time employee benefits only. The Human Resources Department can explain the implications of this to any interested employee.

The supervisor should be alert to problems in department operations:

  • If the workload increases and additional staff are unavailable.
  • If the employee is unable to handle the most important tasks during the reduced work hours.
  • If staff and work assignments are “on hold” until the reduced time employee is back to full-time status.

Early Return to the Position

There will be instances when an employee wishes to return to full-time status before the original, agreed-upon ending date. The supervisor, who may have made other arrangements with another employee to accomplish the work, is under no obligation to the employee on leave to return him or her to full-time status before the specified ending date of the partial leave. However, the supervisor should make every effort to speed up the return process, making alternative arrangements with the interim employee whenever possible.

Next: Change to Regular Part-Time Work

Last modified October 22 2013 12:00 PM