HR 1722 was signed into law by President Obama Thursday afternoon. Also known as the Telework Enhancement Act, the bill aims to increase the work-at-home opportunities for federal employees.
The bill instructs federal agencies to come up with better defined policies to promote telework. Some of its key features are that it requires each agency head to:
- Establish a policy under which eligible agency employees may be authorized to telework
- Determine employee eligibility to participate in telework
- Notify all employees of their eligibility to telework
Some of the requirements the bill sets forth for the telework policy include:
- Ensuring that telework does not diminish employee performance or agency operations
- Requiring a written agreement between an agency manager and an employee that outlines the specific work arrangement agreed to
- Providing that an employee may not be authorized to telework if that employee’s performance does not comply with the terms of the agreement
- Not applying to any agency employee whose official duties require, on a daily basis, direct handling of secure materials determined to be inappropriate for telework or on-site activity that cannot be handled remotely or at an alternate work site
The legislation directs the Office of Personnel Management to come up with teleworking guidelines. Agencies must designate a Telework Managing Officer and must seek to better integrate teleworking into Continuity of Operations Planning, the procedures for keeping the government operating during emergencies.
You can read the full summary of the bill for more details.