OPM has highlighted to agencies the availability of “maxiflex” working schedules, a type of flexible working schedule that “when combined with telework, provides the most flexibility to employees who need to address the dual demands of work and caregiving, as well as other personal responsibilities in response to COVID-19.”
OPM previously had called attention to the availability of flexible working schedules in general but the latest guidance involves a variant that allows for even greater leeway as employees are recalled to their regular workplaces from extended telework or leave status.
Flexible working schedules in general involve core hours when the employee must be present for work and flexible hours, in which they may choose their starting and stopping work time within time bands. Under a maxiflex schedule, agencies may choose not to establish core hours on each workday although they must schedule at least two core hours on each of two workdays within a biweekly pay period.
In addition to varying starting and stopping time, within limits set by the agency an employee may vary the length of the workday, including working fewer than 10 days in a biweekly period. An agency may choose to not establish flexible time bands on certain days, such as Sundays and holidays.
As with the earlier guidance regarding flexible schedules overall, OPM noted that agencies must satisfy any required collective bargaining obligations.