Most of us feel eager for life to return to (somewhat) normal, and that is indeed beginning to happen in many areas. But will you be safe as you return to work as a federal employee? How does each office take local and state restrictions into account? And what about school-aged children who are still out of school?
The Office of Personnel Management sought to answer those questions, and more, with a recently-released bulletin. The list of frequently asked questions regarding your return to work is available on their website, if you’re interested in more info. But here are the basics…
Yes, telework might continue. OPM stresses that the return to an office setting will not be calibrated agency-wide, but with regard to local and state guidelines. To protect your health and safety, telework might continue in many locations.
Those with school-aged children might receive extra accommodations. If the normal school schedule is still suspended in your area, you might receive extra priority with regard to telework. Each agency has been granted the ability to make those determinations on an as-needed basis.
Vulnerable employees receive additional consideration. If you fall into one of the high-risk groups (those most likely to suffer severe complications from Covid-19) your agency can work with you to extend telework.
What about sick employees? This is possibly the most important question on most federal employees’ minds.
Any employee who exhibits signs of illness is advised to leave work immediately. Those who lack available sick leave options can explore other options such as advanced leave or leave without pay. Telework might also be considered in these cases.
Face coverings and social distancing measures will be recommended according to agency guidelines, especially within work sectors involving contact with the public.
As you navigate the return to work, direct communication with supervisors is essential. Expect a few hiccups as we all figure this out together. In the meantime, remember we’re here to talk if you have concerns about your retirement plans. Call us to schedule a consultation, and we can review any changes that might be necessary.