Beginning October 1, 2018, the Department of Education is modifying its telework policy. Several new significant restrictions will affect the existing policy. This announcement only applies to the Education Department.
Agency employees approved to participate in the telework program must be present in the office 4 days a week. Those who telework will be allowed to continue participating in some flexible and compressed work schedules in combination with a telework agreement.
Any Education employees currently on a 100% telework plan and are within the local commuting area of an Education headquarters or Regional facility will be required to adhere to the new telework changes beginning in October. However, remote workers outside of the local commuting area of an Education facility will continue to work remotely.
Prohibit New Requests for 100% Telework
Effective immediately, managers and supervisors are prohibited from approving any new requests for 100% telework. Any teleworkers at the agency are required to renew their telework agreement by August 15, 2018, to reflect the revised program changes. Current telework agreements are to remain in effect until the revised program is implemented.
Labor Relations and Telework
It is unclear whether the American Federation of Government Employees played a role in the decision or implementation of this new policy. The labor relations environment at the agency has undergone a change recently. The Department has taken a more aggressive stance in dealing with AFGE Council 252, which represents many agency employees.
The notice to employees does note, “the office of human resources is currently assessing the impact of the change to the human capital policies and procedures.”