Q: Is the mobile phone policy and pilot program only for FAS or is it University-wide?
A: The policy and program have been adopted for new staff University-wide. However, some schools are choosing to accelerate the pilot program to include existing staff.
Q: Is this a cost savings effort?
A: The primary goal of the mobile phone policy is to have a fair, equitable and transparent process to determine which employees are eligible to receive a phone support stipend due to their job related responsibilities.
Q: If my supervisor completes the FAS Mobile Phone/Stipend Approval Form and the request is supported by my tub or division, who is the form sent to for approval/authorization?
A: All requests must be submitted to the FAS Dean of Administration and Finance and/or the Associate Dean for Administrative Operations for review and final decision.
Q: If I am eligible for a stipend, when would I receive it? And how much is the stipend?
A: The $50 stipend would be paid as part of your payroll bi-weekly, $25 reimbursed in the first two pay periods of each month.
Q: What phone benefits are being ‘grandfathered’?
A: Grandfathering applies to staff currently using a Harvard-owned phone or staff with personal phones who are being reimbursed or charging purchasing cards/corporate cards for some portion of their plan. These staff will retain the Harvard-owned phone or reimbursement model during the pilot and are not subject to the eligibility criteria at this time.
However, during FY16, grandfathered employees who are reimbursed for personal phone use for voice, text or data plans charged to a purchasing card or corporate card will be transitioned to a stipend. After that, the eligibility process will be based on information gathered during the pilot.
Q: Is the grandfathering permanent or just for the pilot?
A: Grandfathering will be effective during the pilot which will run through the end of FY16. However, during FY16, grandfathered employees that are reimbursed for personal phone use for voice, text or data plans charged to a purchasing card or corporate card will be transitioned to a stipend. After that, the eligibility process will be based on information gathered through the pilot.
Q: If I am not in an eligible position but I am grandfathered, what will happen when I need an upgrade?
A: If you have a Harvard-owned phone, it must be used until the device is no longer physically usable, is unable to run required software or operating systems, or must be upgraded for other technical reasons as identified through a determination by HUIT technicians and as designated and approved on the HUIT request form.
Q: If I am not in an eligible position, when the pilot is over is it possible that I may not have a Harvard phone or stipend?
A: Yes, it is possible. Based on information gathered during the pilot, changes to the existing program will occur for FY17.
Q: If I am not in an eligible position and my Harvard phone breaks during the pilot will I be able to opt-in for the stipend instead of replacing the phone?
A: If you have been issued a Harvard-owned phone, and it is damaged and unusable, the FAS will replace the phone during the pilot phase, or you can participate in the pilot by opting-in with your personal phone and receive the stipend.
Q: If I am currently receiving reimbursement for using my personal phone, will I be eligible to opt-in to the new pilot policy to receive a stipend even if I am not new to Harvard and, if so, when could I participate?
A: During the FY16 pilot program, the FAS will be transitioning to a stipend all staff who are currently using personal phones and receiving reimbursements or charging voice, text or data plans to purchasing/corporate cards.
Q: I was in the middle of upgrading phones in my department whose contracts
had run out. Could I finish these upgrades before complying with the policy?
A: For Harvard owned phones there are no departmental contracts, the phones are owned by the university and managed through HUIT. If you have a Harvard-owned phone, it must be used until the device is no longer physically usable, is unable to run required software or operating systems, or must be upgraded for other technical reasons as identified by a determination by HUIT technicians and as designated and approved on the HUIT request form. If deemed appropriate for upgrade or replacement you may conduct this change during the pilot program.
Q: I lost my Harvard phone and I’ve been too busy with work to get a replacement, will I be able to opt-in to receive the stipend and be grandfathered?
A: If HUIT has you on their master list as having an active Harvard phone then you will retain your grandfathered status.
Q: I’ve been meaning to submit for the phone reimbursement benefit but I have not had time to do so. Will I qualify to be grandfathered?
A: This would be treated as a new request and the eligibility criteria will drive the decision. If you have previously been approved for monthly phone reimbursements by your department but you missed a month, reimbursements will be transitioned to a stipend and will continue during the pilot.
Q: I have to communicate with people all over the world, at all hours of the day and night. These aren’t necessarily urgent calls. Would I qualify as eligible?
A: If you personally incur international charges for work related calls on your personal phone, it is perfectly reasonable for these calls to be reimbursed for the specific instance. However, unless you are in an eligible position you would not be eligible for a monthly stipend.
Q: I work from home regularly, am I eligible as a ‘mobile employee’?
A: No, eligible mobile employees are in positions requiring routine field work and the need to communicate real time with the office to give or receive direction – e.g., property assistants, IT field techs.
Q: If I am ineligible for a Harvard-owned phone or stipend, and I want to be able to access calendar and email on my personal phone, do I need to submit a completed Mobile Phone Request Form? What if my personal phone is currently set up for this access
A: As long as your personal phone meets the security requirements and you recognize that Harvard data on personal phones is the property of the University, you do not need additional approval. If you already have email/calendar on your personal phone, you may continue to access the information.
Q: If I already had a Harvard- provided phone and I take a different role at Harvard, am I still grandfathered?
A: No, if a staff person who has a University Phone changes roles, that person’s need for a phone in the new role must be evaluated against the eligibility criteria in this policy. Similarly, if a person is newly-hired into a role where the last incumbent was grandfathered, the newly-hired person’s need for a phone must also be evaluated against the eligibility criteria in this policy.
Q: If I am grandfathered, can I get reimbursed for my entire cell phone bill?
A: Most people who have cell phones today also use them for personal activities. In general, reimbursements should be for the portion of a personal bill that is for Universality business, not for the entire personal bill.