Workforce

IRS outlines expanded flexible work schedule

Shutterstock photo ID: photo ID: 245503636 By Mark Van Scyoc Sign outside the Internal Revenue Service building in downtown Washington, DC on December 26, 2014. 

The IRS, which is operating under an evacuation order that mandates telework for all eligible employees, released new guidance outlining its flexible work schedule policy.

In an internal memo, the IRS said that all employees who were under the evacuation order, able to telework and who were saddled with caregiving duties could request the expanded "maxiflex" work schedule.

"All bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit employees, under an evacuation order, telework-able and are working at an alternate site location, with caregiving responsibilities due to COVID-19 may request this new FWS, regardless of their current work schedule," the IRS said.

Under maxiflex, employees can adjust their starting and stop times, expand unpaid mealtimes and reduce or expand hours as necessary with managerial approval.

The flexible time band would expand to include start and stop times between 12 a.m. and 5:59 a.m., in addition to regular working and credit hours between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. Managers could also approve reduced core hours and increase the number of credit hours worked on both work and non-workdays.

IRS employees can apply and be approved for the work schedule policy via email, but must include factors such as school closures, childcare cancellations, and the presence of any other adults in the home in their request.

OPM published broader but similar information for teleworking federal employees who provide primary care for children and dependents.

The IRS said that the expanded maxiflex flexible work schedule was temporary, and would be in effect from April 1 to December 31, but could terminate before then, subject to agency discretion.

DOE hotline

The Department of Energy has set up a hotline to collect information about potential COVID-19 cases during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health and safety experts from the Offices of Management and Associate Under Secretary for Environment, Health, Safety, and Security will monitor the hotline during normal working hours.

The hotline will serve as a central service for DOE employees, managers and on-site support contractors to report potential or confirmed coronavirus cases.

DOE also set up an accompanying email inbox for DOE staff and contractors to send non-urgent questions or concerns about human resources or other general information.

About the Author

Lia Russell is a former staff writer and associate editor at FCW.

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