6.800.2 IRS Telework Program

Manual Transmittal

February 07, 2018

Purpose

(1) This transmits the revised IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework Program.

(2) IRM 6.800.2 provides Servicewide policy and guidance on the IRS Telework Program.

(3) This IRM must be read and interpreted in accordance with pertinent law, Government-wide regulations, Treasury Human Capital Directives and Issuances, Comptroller General Decisions, and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Guidance, as relevant.

(4) For employees in bargaining units (BU) covered by negotiated agreements, appropriate negotiated agreement provisions relating to subjects in this section should also be reviewed. For BU employees, should any of these instructions conflict with a provision of a negotiated agreement, the agreement will prevail.

Material Changes

(1) This IRM aligns with the provisions of the National Agreement, Article 50, and other telework related articles (e.g., 11, 15 and 36).

(2) This IRM has been substantially rewritten for clarity and policy updates:

  1. Section 2, IRS Telework (Flexiplace) Program has been renamed Section 2, IRS Telework Program.

  2. 6.800.2.1, Program Scope and Objectives added per mandatory requirement issued on July 22, 2016, by the Office of Servicewide Policy, Directives and Electronic Research (SPDER).

  3. 6.800.2.1, Overview has been renumbered to 6.800.2.2, Overview and has been updated.

  4. 6.800.2.1.1, Background is new.

  5. 6.800.2.1.1, Legal Basis and Authorities has been renumbered to 6.800.2.1.2, Authority and the content has been updated.

  6. 6.800.2.1.2, Definitions has been renumbered to 6.800.2.1.5, Terms/Definitions and the content has been updated.

  7. 6.800.2.1.4, Program Management and Review added per mandatory requirement issued on July 22, 2016, by the office of SPDER.

  8. 6.800.2.1.4, Types of Telework and Uses is now 6.800.2.3.1.3.1, Telework Types and the content has been updated.

  9. 6.800.2.1.6, Related Resources is new.

  10. 6.800.2.2.1, Summary of Participation Requirements is new.

  11. 6.800.2.3, Program Participation has been expanded and updated.

  12. 6.800.2.3.1, Telework Process is new.

  13. 6.800.2.3.1, Occupational Eligibility and Work Suitability is now 6.800.2.3.1.1, Employee Telework Eligibility Designation in HR Connect and the content has been updated.

  14. 6.800.2.3.1.3, Application for Telework is new.

  15. 6.800.2.3.1.3.2, Temporary Telework Agreements Due to Hardship is new.

  16. 6.800.2.3.1.3.5, Distance Limitations for Telework Locations is new.

  17. 6.800.2.3.1.4, Action for Approved Teleworkers is new.

  18. 6.800.2.3.1.4.1, Remote Access to the IRS Network is new.

  19. 6.800.2.3.1.5, Telework Requirements as Related to Mobile Work is new.

  20. 6.800.2.3.1.6, Telework Site Operations is new.

  21. 6.800.2.3.1.6.2, Requirements Regarding Remote Access from Non-US Locations is new.

  22. 6.800.2.3.1.7, Termination of Telework is new.

  23. 6.800.2.3.2, Employee Eligibility Criteria is now 6.800.2.3.1.3.4, Eligibility Criteria and the content has been updated.

  24. 6.800.2.3.3, Telework Training is now 6.800.2.3.1.2, Required Telework Training and the content has been updated.

  25. 6.800.2.3.4, Telework (Flexiplace) Work Agreements is now 6.800.2.3.1.3.6, Telework Agreements and the content has been updated.

  26. 6.800.2.3.5, Telework Tracking has been incorporated into 6.800.2.1.4, Program Management and Review

  27. 6.800.2.3.6, Performance Standards and Expectations is now 6.800.2.4.3, Performance Standards and Expectations and has been updated.

  28. 6.800.2.3.7, Suspension, Modification, Termination or Denial of Telework Agreements has been divided into 6.800.2.3.1.3.7, Denial of Telework Agreement Requests; and 6.800.2.3.1.7.1, Modification, Suspension or Termination of Telework Agreements by Managers; 6.800.2.3.1.7.2, Modification or Termination of Telework Agreements by Employees; and the content has been updated.

  29. 6.800.2.4, Program Administration is new.

  30. 6.800.2.4.1, Telework Compliance is new.

  31. 6.800.2.4.1, Responsibilities of Managers and 6.800.2.4.2, Responsibilities of Employees have been renumbered to 6.800.2.1.3, Responsibilities and content has been updated to include, 6.800.2.1.3.1, BOD Telework Lead Responsibilities 6.800.2.1.3.2, Manager Responsibilities and 6.800.2.1.3.3, Employees Responsibilities.

  32. 6.800.2.4.8, Telework and Public Transit Subsidies is new.

  33. 6.800.2.5, Tours of Duty, Time and Attendance, Leave has been renumbered to 6.800.2.4.2, Tours of Duty, Time and Attendance, Leave and content has been updated.

  34. 6.800.2.5.2, Time and Attendance has been renumbered to 6.800.2.3.1.4.3, Teleworker Timekeeping Requirements.

  35. 6.800.2.6, Administrative Leave/ Excused Absence/ Dismissals and Emergency Closing is now 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework which is a new section and was added to document the requirements for teleworkers during emergencies. This section has been extensively reworked to also reflect requirements from OPM and Homeland Security.

  36. 6.800.2.7, Injuries, Continuation of Pay, and Workers' Compensation is now 6.800.2.4.5, Workers’ Compensation (Employee Injury/Illness Claims) and Other Federal Claims and the content has been updated.

  37. 6.800.2.8, Pay Issues, Official Duty Station is now 6.800.2.4.6, Pay Issues, Post of Duty, and the Requirement to Report to POD Twice a Pay Period and the content has been updated.

  38. 6.800.2.9, Telework, Commuting and Travel has been renumbered to 6.800.2.4.7, Telework: Commuting and Travel and the content has been updated.

  39. 6.800.2.10.1, Home Office Space is now 6.800.2.3.1.6.3, Workspace and the content has been updated.

  40. 6.800.2.10.2, Home Utility Expenses has been renumbered to 6.800.2.3.1.6.4, Home Utility Expenses and the content has been updated.

  41. 6.800.2.10.3, Equipment and Furniture is now 6.800.2.3.1.4.2, Equipment and Furniture Requests and the content has been updated.

  42. 6.800.2.10.4, Computers and IRS Owned Equipment is now 6.800.2.6.1, Computers and IRS Owned Equipment and the content has been updated.

  43. 6.800.2.10.5, Office Supplies has been renumbered to 6.800.2.3.1.6.6, Office Supplies and the content has been updated.

  44. 6.800.2.10.6, Home Inspections has been included in 6.800.2.3.1.6.1, Face-to-Face Meetings at a Home Office (paragraph 1) and the content has been updated. 2) and 3) are new and provide restrictions on meeting with taxpayers at a teleworker’s home, as well as guidelines limiting other at home meetings.

  45. 6.800.2.10.7, Mail has been renumbered to 6.800.2.3.1.6.7 Mail and the content has been updated.

  46. 6.800.2.11, Computer Security Requirements has been renumbered to 6.800.2.6.2, Security Requirements and the content has been updated.

  47. 6.800.2.12, Privacy Act and Sensitive Data has been renumbered to 6.800.2.6.3, Privacy Act and Sensitive Data and the content has been updated.

  48. 6.800.2.13, Dependent Care has been renumbered to 6.800.2.4.4, Dependent Care and the content has been updated.

  49. 6.800.2.14, Tax Benefits is now 6.800.2.3.1.6.5, Home Tax Implications and the content has been updated.

  50. 6.800.2.15, Telework and Reasonable Accommodation has been renumbered to 6.800.2.3.1.3.3, Telework and Reasonable Accommodation and the content has been updated.

  51. 6.800.2.16, GSA Telework Centers has been removed.

  52. Exhibit 6.800.2-2, Supplemental Telework Resources is now Exhibit 6.800.2-4, Telework Training Resources and the content has been updated.

  53. Exhibit 6.800.2-1, Suitable Workspace Recommendations is new.

  54. Exhibit 6.800.2-2, Safety Checklist is new.

  55. Exhibit 6.800.2-3, Telework Websites is new.

  56. Exhibit 6.800.2-5, Telework Related IRS Policies is new.

(3) Separation of bargaining unit and non-bargaining unit employees requirements for Telework Agreements and Training.

(4) The term Flexiplace was replaced with Telework throughout to be consistent with OPM terminology.

(5) In addition, other specific additions include:

  1. IRM 6.800.2.3.1.1, Employee Telework Eligibility Designation in HR Connect describes the new required telework eligibility designation in HR Connect.

Effect on Other Documents


IRM 6.800.2 dated December 28, 2010, is superseded.

Audience

All Operating Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(02-07-2018)

Katherine M. Coffman,
IRS Human Capital Officer

Program Scope and Objectives

  1. Purpose: This IRM is designed to provide the structure needed for effective implementation and operation of telework at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Organizations finding the need for additional guidelines must ensure compliance with the provisions of this policy and fulfillment of applicable negotiated agreement obligations.

  2. Audience: This IRM establishes parameters for using telework at IRS and applies to all Business Operating Units (BODs), bargaining unit (BU) employees, non-bargaining unit (NBU) employees, managers, and executives. For BU employees, where there is a conflict in policy between the IRM and the National Agreement, the National Agreement prevails.

  3. Policy Owner: IRS Human Capital Officer; Director, Worklife, Benefits and Performance Division.

  4. Program Owner: Associate Director, Worklife Recognition and Leave Sharing Branch; Telework Program Manager.

  5. Primary Stakeholders: Information Technology, Workforce Relations Division, Agency-Wide Shared Services and all IRS employees and managers.

  6. Program Objectives: To expand telework as technology allows and business needs dictate. Telework helps recruit and retain talented employees to serve our taxpayers. Telework enhances work-life balance and supports Continuity of Operations (COOP).

Background

  1. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-292, December 2010) requires each Federal agency to establish a policy under which eligible employees are authorized to telework. It also provides a statutory definition for telework; requires a written Telework Agreement between the employee and manager as a condition for participation in telework; and requires every agency to incorporate telework into their COOP plans.

  2. It is the practice of the IRS to provide employees with the opportunity to participate in telework when practical and consistent with the IRS mission. Telework should be offered broadly and equitably to employees and their managers contingent on meeting eligibility standards. Use of the IRS Telework Program is encouraged for official duties well suited for completion at an alternate worksite.

  3. Telework provides a means of responding to rapidly changing factors affecting today’s Federal government and workforce demographically, socially and technologically. Benefits for telework include:

    1. Increasing employee productivity and job satisfaction

    2. Improving work-life balance

    3. Enhancing recruitment and retention, especially in critical occupations and positions

    4. Improving ability to continue IRS work in the event of an emergency, including but not limited to inclement weather events

    5. Decreasing the use of excused absence (administrative leave) by telework-ready employees during emergencies

    6. Providing opportunity for reduced IRS rent, space, and transportation costs

    7. Providing expanded options for reasonable accommodation

    8. Supporting environmental sustainability

Authority

  1. This IRM has been developed in accordance with the following Acts of Congress, Executive Orders, Executive Branch Regulations, and policy requirements from the Department of the Treasury:

    1. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (the Act) is the statutory basis for establishing agency telework programs.

    2. OMB Memorandum: Implementing Telework Enhancement Act of 2010: Security Guidelines (July 2011). Provides guidelines on security requirements for the implementation of the Act, as required by 5 U.S.C. § 6504(c).

    3. OMB Memorandum: Implementing Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 IT Purchasing Requirements (April 2011). Directs agencies to update policies on purchasing computing technologies and services to enable and promote continued adoption of telework. At the same time, purchasing policies must address the information security threats raised by use of technologies associated with telework.

    4. National Agreement. Article 50 specifies telework policies for BU employees as negotiated.

    5. (National Agreement) Consolidated "Pass-Through" Provisions, March 29, 2016 (See Article 50 Reference in document). Provides options for managers to implement Article 50 policy as related to NBU employees.

    6. Presidential Memorandum - Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs (June 23, 2014). Directs executive departments and agencies to better utilize existing workplace flexibilities or the development of new associated programs.

    7. OPM Implementation Memorandum on Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities (August 22, 2014). Provides guidance on the right of an employee to request work schedule flexibilities without fear of retaliation, including overview of various workplace flexibilities and worklife programs available to agencies and employees for their use.

    8. Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1), Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Program and Requirements (January 2017). Provides direction to Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies for use in developing contingency plans and programs for continuity. There is a direct relationship between telework and continuity of operations in sharing the basic objective to perform and maintain agency functions during an emergency and from an alternate location. References are found in Appendices G, I, and N in the directive.

Responsibilities

  1. The IRS Telework Program Office in partnership with the BOD Telework (TW) Leads has the responsibility of overall program management and compliance. IRS managers and employees share equal responsibility for ensuring a successful telework arrangement. Parties involved are encouraged to work together to develop telework arrangements that support the mission first with additional consideration for the specific needs of their work unit and the work-life balance of the employee.

BOD Telework Lead Responsibilities
  1. BODs are responsible to designate a Telework Lead(s) as a representative on the IRS Telework Team.

  2. BOD Telework Leads are responsible for:

    1. Serving as the liaison between the IRS Telework Program Office and the BOD.

    2. Attending monthly and occasional Ad Hoc BOD TW Lead meetings and completing any associated actions.

    3. Serving as the POC for BOD questions and concerns.

    4. Reviewing telework data and reporting requirements for their BOD.

    5. Maintaining the BOD’s Telework Agreement Library(ies) including all records, removal of duplicates and archiving. This includes ensuring all historical documentation is retained in the record (e.g., prior Telework Agreements).

    6. Assisting managers/proxies with uploading any updates to employees’ existing records. (Managers/proxies only upload “first time” new agreements).

    7. Ensuring all active teleworkers have a Telework Agreement in the Telework Agreement Library.

    8. Ensuring all teleworkers have completed required training.

    9. Identifying any discrepancies with telework related hours in Single Entry Time Reporting (SETR), and coordinating appropriate action.

    10. Reviewing all new Telework Agreements for accuracy as they are uploaded into the Telework Agreement Library.

    11. Identifying and coordinating resolution for telework compliance issues with management/servicing Labor Relations Office/Specialist as necessary.

    12. Using Telework Dashboard to monitor compliance and produce reports for BOD senior leadership as required.

Manager Responsibilities
  1. IRS managers and employees share equal responsibility for ensuring a successful telework arrangement. Parties involved are encouraged to work together to develop telework arrangements that support the mission first with additional consideration for the specific needs of their work unit and the work-life balance of the employee.

  2. Presidential Memorandum Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Worklife Programs (June 23, 2014) requires managers to:

    1. Encourage discussions regarding telework with employees

    2. Understand that employees may apply for telework without fear of retaliation or adverse employee action as a consequence of making such a request

    3. Consider the telework request carefully and respond within 20 business days of the initial request

    4. Remind employees periodically of the flexibilities (telework options) available to them

  3. Additional management responsibilities also include:

    1. Be informed about the program. Know the rules for BU and NBU employees as applicable. Become familiar with and bookmark the IRS Telework Portal. All policies, procedures, forms and tools are available on that site. The iManage Telework site also hosts manager specific information to assist in managing teleworkers. All business units have a BOD TW Lead to support the individual telework needs of the BOD.

    2. Determine and maintain telework eligibility designations for all employees in HR Connect Manager Self Service, and designate all new employees for telework eligibility within the first 90 days of their enter-on-duty (EOD) date.

      Note:

      In HR Connect, only the employee requires eligibility designation not the position.

    3. Prior to approving a telework request, carefully review the telework eligibility criteria (see also IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.4, Eligibility Criteria) including researching any official disciplinary actions that may preclude approval of the Telework Agreement. Sources for information regarding official disciplinary actions include Labor Relations Office/Specialists, and the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (OPF). Questions regarding official disciplinary actions should be referred to the servicing Labor Relations Specialist.

    4. Ensure all teleworking employees have a signed IRS Telework Agreement for Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) (Form 11386-B) or IRS Telework Agreement for Bargaining Unit (BU) (Form 11386) prior to commencing telework. Managers must retain copies of these agreements for one year after the end of the employee’s participation in the program to meet records management requirements as stated in Document 12829, General Records Schedules (GRS), Item 42.

    5. Timely complete all required manager telework training. Ensure employees complete required telework training and provide proof of completion certificate to the manager prior to approving any telework arrangement.

    6. Review and approve or deny requests for participation in the IRS Telework Program within 20 business days. Copies of approvals and/or any denials, suspensions, or terminations must be maintained by the manager and uploaded to the appropriate electronic library per instructions on the Telework Agreement (NBU) or as found on the IRS Telework Portal.

    7. In addition to uploading new Telework Agreements to the IRS Telework Portal, managers must maintain a copy of the current Telework Agreement and other associated documentation for each employee in the employee’s Drop File (See IRM 1.4.50.3.1.2, Employee Drop File (EDF) for regulations).

    8. Any short or long term temporary adjustments to an employee’s telework arrangement must be approved by the manager. All adjustments must be documented on the employee’s Telework Agreement and a copy uploaded to the TW Agreement Library by the BOD TW Lead. Clear notes must be provided to show the start and stop dates of any temporary telework arrangement.

    9. Review all Telework Agreements (excluding BU Ad Hoc) every year. Managers may select when these reviews occur; however, it may be optimal to conduct them during annual performance reviews. If there are no changes to the existing Telework Agreement, there is no need to take any action. A new agreement must be done when an employee changes positions and new duties are assigned or if the employee changes telework type (e.g., Ad Hoc to Recurring), or the address of the approved telework location. Smaller edits may be made as pen and ink changes on the existing agreement. The employee and manager should initial/date the pen and ink changes. In all cases, a copy of any update to an agreement must be added to the employee’s existing telework record by the BOD TW Lead in the Telework Agreement Library on the IRS Telework Portal. As a service, managers and employees may request a copy of an agreement from their BOD TW Lead.

    10. Ensure employees report to their official Post of Duty (POD) (official duty station) at least twice per pay period. Reporting to the POD may be for a full day or a partial day based on management’s requirements. Commuting time from home to work and vice versa at the beginning and end of the day is not considered hours of work. When an employee reports to the Office at the beginning of his/her tour of duty and wishes to return to the telework site before the end of his/her tour of duty, the employee may, with prior management approval, return home during his/her lunch (or meal) period such that the employee is not traveling home during work hours (including paid breaks). If the travel time exceeds the allotted lunch (or meal) period, the employee’s tour of duty may not be adjusted on a day-to-day basis solely to accommodate traveling to the telework site. Otherwise, if the employee desires to return to the telework site during working hours, the employee will, with prior managerial approval, need to account for that time by taking leave (e.g., annual leave, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours). The same holds true for employees who begin the day at the telework site and wish to go into the office later. The commuting time is not compensable and must occur on the employee’s own time (e.g. lunch (or meal) period, annual leave, previously earned credit hours or compensatory time, LWOP). See IRM 6.800.2.4.6, Pay Issues, Post of Duty, and Requirement to Report to the POD Twice a Pay Period and IRM 6.800.2.3.1.5, Telework Requirements as Related to Mobile Work for exceptions to this requirement.

    11. Ensure adherence to provisions of IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure; IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance; IRM 10.8.26, Information Technology (IT) Security, Government Furnished and Personally Owned Mobile Device Security Policy; and IRM 10.2.1, Physical Security, The Physical Security Program.

    12. Managers are responsible for ensuring employees complete all annual Mandatory Briefings, which include, but are not limited to: Privacy, Information Protection and Disclosure; Information System Security; and UNAX.

    13. Properly certify time and attendance of teleworking employees. Managers have the ultimate responsibility to ensure their employees accurately report telework hours and mobile work hours. Additional hours worked (e.g., credit hours, compensatory time, and overtime hours) while on telework, must be reflected as separate telework lines on the timesheet, as well as any other time and attendance requirements specific to a BOD or area (e.g., breaks). Refer here for additional Time and Leave Guidance for SETR.

    14. Ensure the employee's Telework Indicator in SETR and the number of telework hours routinely worked match the type of Telework (Frequent, Recurring, Ad Hoc) listed on the Telework Agreement. Occasional short-term deviations of telework hours worked do not require a change in the telework type or a new Telework Agreement, and the SETR telework indicator should not be changed. Caution should be taken when considering Ad Hoc telework. Ad Hoc is not for repeat instances of telework.

    15. Ensure that employees who work a combination of office time, mobile work (field work) and telework reflect each of these designations on separate lines on the SETR Time Entry screen.

    16. Work with employees to obtain appropriate equipment (via OS GetServices) and related IT systems support (e.g., OL5081).

    17. When considering telework termination for a Frequent teleworker, where the employee will permanently or temporarily return to work in the IRS office, the manager will normally provide Facilities Management and Security Services (FMSS) thirty (30) days advance notice of the pending change. Exceptions to the 30-day notice are generally temporary and include emergency situations such as the loss of space in the home, security reasons or failure of equipment. The Employer will make reasonable effort to accommodate the employee's needs. Managers should convey to returning employees that equipment and workstations previously provided by the Employer may not immediately be the same as used prior to participating in the IRS Telework Program.

  4. Managers are responsible for understanding and following policy on emergency telework and ensuring that telework- ready employees are adhering to these policies as applicable (see IRM 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework and National Agreement, Article 50, Section 7). Managers are encouraged to take the optional manager refresher course related to telework to stay current on emergency telework practices. See also Status of IRS Operations Decisions Table (IRS Dismissal and Closure Procedures).

Employees Responsibilities
  1. Be informed about the program. Know the telework rules for BU or NBU employees as applicable. Become familiar with and bookmark the IRS Telework Portal. Policies, procedures, forms and tools are available on that site. All BODs have a BOD TW Lead to support the individual needs of the BODs. The responsibilities of employees are:

    1. All Teleworking employees are required to have an approved Telework Agreement. Submit a BU or NBU (as appropriate) Telework Agreement (Form 11386-B for NBU and Form 11386 for BU employees) that provides management with specific information regarding planned telework schedule, type of telework, contact information and address of the telework site(s). NBU employees must choose between a Fixed or Flexible telework schedule as stated on the NBU Telework Agreement form.

    2. Employees must ensure their Telework Agreement information is up to date. For all employees, a new agreement is required if there is a change from one telework type to another (e.g., Ad Hoc to Recurring). All other minor changes may be noted as a pen and ink update on the existing agreement. If both employee and manager agree, a new agreement may be done for minor changes as well but is not required. Employees should maintain a copy of their current Telework Agreement.

    3. Inform management as soon as possible when unable to perform work due to any work stoppage (e.g., power outage, equipment failure, etc.), illness or personal problems during the telework tour of duty and request unscheduled leave (sick, annual, or leave without pay (LWOP)), previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours.

    4. Leverage the full complement of available technology tools to communicate effectively with customers, coworkers, and managers. Be transparent through the use of shared calendars, instant messaging (required for NBU), email out-of-office messages, and other communication vehicles as appropriate to inform team members of work status.

    5. Ensure telework type in SETR (located on the Employee Profile page) is the same as listed on their latest approved Telework Agreement. The SETR Telework Indicator may only be changed if the Telework Agreement is terminated or suspended or if a new Telework Agreement has a different telework type.

    6. Telework-ready employees are responsible for understanding and following policy on emergency telework. See IRM 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework and National Agreement, Article 50, Section 7 and 36, Section 15. Also see Status of IRS Operations Decision Table (IRS Dismissal and Closure Procedures).

    7. Accurately report time and attendance. Employees must submit their time and attendance in accordance with existing policy and appropriately code their hours spent teleworking.

    8. Employees who do a combination of office time, mobile work (field work), and telework should reflect each of these designations on separate lines on the SETR Time Entry screen. Mobile work and telework hours are to be recorded on separate lines and the appropriate box (telework and/or mobile work) on the time entry SETR Time Entry screen should be checked accordingly.

    9. Report to their assigned POD (official duty station) at least twice a pay period. Reporting to the POD may be for a full day or a partial day based on management’s requirements. Commuting time from home to work and vice versa at the beginning and end of the day is not hours of work. When an employee reports to the Office at the beginning of his/her tour of duty and wishes to return to the telework site before the end of his/her tour of duty, the employee may, with prior management approval, return home during his/her lunch (or meal) period such that the employee is not traveling home during work hours (including paid breaks). If the travel time exceeds the allotted lunch (or meal) period, the employee’s tour of duty may not be adjusted on a day-to-day basis solely to accommodate traveling to the telework site. Otherwise, if the employee desires to return to the telework site during working hours, the employee will, with prior managerial approval, need to account for that time by taking leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours). The same holds true for employees who begin the day at the telework site and wish to go into the office later. The commuting time is not compensable and must occur on the employee's own time (e.g., lunch (or meal) period, annual leave, previously earned credit hours or compensatory time, LWOP).

      Note:

      Mobile (field) workers may be exempt from reporting twice a pay period contingent on meeting specific requirements. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.5, Telework Requirements as Related to Mobile Work.

    10. Meet all organizational communication and availability requirements with managers, coworkers and customers – including retrieving voice mail, returning phone calls, and responding to emails in a timely manner.

    11. Protect all Personally Identifiable Information (PII). PII includes the personal data of taxpayers, and also the personal information of employees, contractors, applicants and visiting employees to the IRS. For further information, refer to IRM 10.5.1, Privacy and Information Protection, Privacy Policy.

    12. Comply with all required security measures and disclosure provisions including password protection and data encryption to prevent compromising security, disclosure or Privacy Act requirements. Files and other information subject to Privacy Act regulations must be secured in a way that renders these records and data inaccessible to anyone other than the employee. At a minimum, this requires all records and data are kept under lock and key when not in the possession of the employee. When leaving the telework location, lock all doors and windows and activate the home security system (if available). Further guidance can be found in IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure.

    13. Adhere to records management guidelines outlined in Record and Information Management IRMs (IRM 1.15.1 through IRM 1.15.7).

    14. Comply with all security and disclosure requirements when using telecommunication systems and equipment. Further guidance is found in IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security Policy and Guidance.

    15. Ensure government provided equipment and property is used only for authorized purposes. Employees should review IRM 10.8.26, Information Technology (IT) Security, Government Furnished and Personally Owned Device Security Policy and IRM 10.8.27, Information Technology (IT) Security, Internal Revenue Service Policy On Limited Personal Use of Government Information Technology Resources, for guidance on limited personal use of IRS owned computers.

    16. Protect all IRS equipment. Secure unattended laptops or other equipment (e.g., cell phones, flash drives, CDs) whether it is in the office, home or in a hotel room as described in IRM 6.800.2.6.2, Security Requirements and in IRM 10.8.26.3.8, PE - Physical and Environmental Protection. Secure mobile computing device(s) (e.g., use of cable lock, screen lock) from theft or tampering when located in an IRS facility and at an approved telework location. See IRM 10.8.26, Information Technology (IT) Security, Government Furnished and Personally Owned Mobile Device Security Policy.

    17. Report Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU)/PII losses, thefts or inadvertent disclosures. An employee who becomes aware of an inadvertent unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information/PII, or the loss or theft of an IRS IT asset or Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) asset, or the loss or theft of a hardcopy record or document containing sensitive information/PII, is required to report the incident within one hour to his/her manager, and to either the Office of Taxpayer Correspondence (OTC), the Office of Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure (PGLD), Incident Management Office (IM), or the Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC), depending on what was lost, stolen, or disclosed. See IRM 10.5.4, Privacy and Information Protection, Incident Management Program, or visit the Report Losses, Thefts and Disclosures page on the Privacy & Disclosure Virtual Library for additional information concerning incident reporting.

      Reportable Information System incidents include, but are not limited to:

      • Unauthorized disclosure of information

      • Inadvertent disclosure of information

      • Viruses and malicious code

      • Loss or theft of equipment, software, or information

      • Deliberate alteration or destruction of data or equipment

      • Unauthorized access attempt

      IRS employees are also required to report the loss or theft of non-IT equipment (e.g., locking file cabinet, ergonomic chair, etc.).

      See IRM 6.800.2.6.3, Privacy Act and Sensitive Data.

Program Management and Review

  1. Program Goals Telework program goals are as follows:

    1. Sustain (at a minimum) an 83% participation rate for eligible employees and an 18% participation rate for eligible managers

    2. 100% of all active teleworkers will have an approved IRS Telework Agreement and proof of completed IRS mandatory training on file

    3. Sustain (at a minimum) an 88% positive rating for telework satisfaction as reported by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS)

  2. Program Reports The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 outlines responsibilities and expectations for policy guidance and reporting of telework. In this regard, it is important that all telework data be captured correctly in all systems to include Telework Agreement/Denial Libraries, SETR, and HR Connect.

    1. Telework Agreement Library - Electronic repository for telework agreements that meets the requirement of the Act to ensure that every teleworker has an approved Telework Agreement .

    2. Telework Denial Library - Electronic repository for telework denials that meets OPM’s requirement to report the number of denials each year and associated reasons for the denials.

    3. SETR information used for reporting includes:
      1. Telework Indicator on the Employee Profile tab - A SETR feature that identifies the type of telework approved in the employee’s Telework Agreement. When a Telework Type is selected, the Telework check box becomes visible on the SETR Time Entry screen to properly record employee’s telework hours worked. Users will select the appropriate Type of Telework (Frequent, Recurring or Ad Hoc) from the drop-down menu. Only employees with an approved Telework Agreement or their managers are permitted to update this field. This indicator must always match the most current Telework Agreement in the Telework Agreement Library. Occasional short-term deviations (with manager approval) in telework hours worked 1) do not require a change in the telework type or a new Telework Agreement and 2) the SETR telework indicator should not be changed. Caution should be taken when considering Ad Hoc telework. Ad Hoc is not for repeat instances of telework.
      2. Mobile Work Indicator on the Employee Profile tab - A SETR feature that identifies mobile workers (See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.4.3). When the Mobile Work Indicator is changed to Yes, the mobile work check box becomes visible on the SETR Time Entry screen to properly record employee’s mobile work hours worked. Mobile work hours must be recorded separately from telework hours. This indicator must be kept current for those employees who routinely work mobile (field) work.
      3. Time Entry Screen - Employees must submit their time and attendance in accordance with existing policy, making certain to accurately record their hours of; 1) telework, 2) mobile work (as applicable), and 3) regular time.
      4. Telework Hours on the Leave Balances tab - Identifies cumulative telework hours worked by pay year, and contingent on the telework hours posted.

    4. Employee Telework Eligibility Designation field – This is an HR Connect field in Manager Self Service where managers are required to designate each employee's eligibility to apply for telework. Accuracy of this indicator is important because it provides the IRS with the total telework eligible population.

      Note:

      While there is a Position Eligibility designation field in HR Connect, OPM only requires IRS to designate the Employee Eligibility.

  3. Annual Review: The Telework Program Manager will review the processes included in this manual annually. This will include revisions as the Telework regulations are amended periodically and as the IRS policies and procedures are changed.

Terms/Definitions

  1. Emergency Events – Includes national security situations, extended emergencies, or other unique situations when IRS offices are closed or access to any IRS facility is compromised.

  2. Emergency Telework – Unscheduled telework that is required to be performed by employees during an emergency. A formal telework agreement must be in place. BU employees should refer to Article 50, Section 7, of the National Agreement. See IRM 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework, and Status of IRS Operations Decision Table.

  3. Full-Time Telework (Remote Telework) - Full-time telework from an approved location, without the requirement to report to an IRS POD at least twice a pay period. The employee’s telework site becomes their official POD. Currently, the IRS does not have a Full-Time Telework option other than the Home as POD (HaP) program which is reserved exclusively for those employees whose POD has closed as part of approved space reduction initiative, and where the employee does not have access to another IRS POD within the commuting area.

  4. Local Commuting Area – As defined by 5 CFR §351.203, Reduction in Force/Definitions, means the geographic area that usually constitutes one area for employment purposes. It includes any population center (or two or more neighboring ones) and the surrounding localities in which people live and can reasonably be expected to travel back and forth daily to their usual employment. See IRS Commuting Area Document.

  5. Mobile Work (Field Work) - Work that is characterized by routine and regular travel each pay period to conduct work in a customer site or other worksite and separate from the telework site. Examples of mobile work include site audits, site inspections, investigations, property management, work performed while commuting, traveling between worksites, or on temporary duty (TDY). The employee must be performing work in the same locality pay area as defined in IRS Commuting Area Document. Typically this applies to audit type of functions including the work performed by Revenue Agents, Revenue Officers, Special Agents, and other Tax Audit positions. Mobile work is NOT considered Telework. Mobile workers who also have a signed Telework Agreement should follow guidelines listed in IRM 6.800.2.3.1.5, Telework Requirements as Related to Mobile Work.

  6. Official Duty Station (ODS) – For purposes of this IRM, ODS is synonymous for official worksite or Post of Duty (POD). The ODS for an employee's position of record as indicated on his/her most recent Notification of Personnel Action (Form SF-50). An IRS ODS (worksite) is defined as a building in which the IRS occupies space. The ODS is where the employee regularly performs his/her duties or, if the employee’s work involves regular travel or the employee’s work location varies on a daily basis, where his/her work activities are based, as determined by the employing agency [ 5 CFR §531.605,Determining an employee’s official worksite]. HaP employees maintain their ODS as their permanent telework site.

  7. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) - PII is any information: (1) that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as name, Social Security Number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or biometric records; and (2) that is linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information.

    1. To distinguish an individual is to identify an individual, such as with a Social Security Number and Passport Number. However, a list of credit scores without any other information concerning the individual does not distinguish the individual.

    2. To trace an individual is to process sufficient information to make a determination about a specific aspect of an individual‘s activities or status, such as with an audit log.

    3. Linked information is information about or related to an individual that is logically associated with other information about the individual.

    4. Linkable information is information about or related to an individual for which there is a possibility of logical association with other information about the individual.
      For more information, refer to IRM 10.5.1, Privacy and Information Protection, Privacy Policy and the Personally Identifiable Information - What is PII? website.

  8. Satellite Office Site - Telework at a secondary IRS POD that is not the employee’s assigned POD. If approved, the location of the satellite office site must be identified on the Telework Agreement.

    Note:

    Working in a satellite office site does not infer an official change to the teleworking employee’s assigned POD nor does it excuse the requirement to report to the assigned POD at least twice a pay period.

  9. Scheduled Telework - Routine telework schedule for Frequent and Recurring teleworkers as specified and approved on the Telework Agreement. For Ad Hoc teleworkers, each instance of telework must be requested separately and approved, resulting in it becoming scheduled telework.

    Note:

    If any teleworker requests to modify the day(s) he/she is scheduled to telework and the request is approved by the manager, the teleworker is scheduled to telework on the modified day(s). Once an employee has requested and been approved to telework on a specific day or portion of a day, the request may not be rescinded without prior managerial approval.

  10. Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) – SBU is any information that if lost, stolen, misused, or accessed or altered without proper authorization, may adversely affect the national interest or the conduct of federal programs (including IRS operations), or the privacy to which individuals are entitled under the Privacy Act. For more information, refer to the Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) Data – What is SBU Data? website.

  11. Telework – The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 defines telework as a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of such employee's position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work.

  12. Telework Agreement – A written (hard copy or electronic) agreement, completed and signed by an employee and his/her manager that outlines the terms and conditions of the telework arrangement. IRS has separate Telework Agreements for BU and NBU employees (Form 11386, IRS Telework Agreement for BU or Form 11386-B, IRS Telework Agreement for NBU).

  13. Telework Eligible - A broad range of IRS occupations are eligible for each type of telework and include BU, NBU, management and executive positions. Eligibility determinations and approvals to telework must be made based on solid business reasons supported by either Article 50 eligibility criteria or IRS Telework policy and guidance, AND must be applied equally to all employees with similar work requirements. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.4, Eligibility Criteria.

  14. Telework Location – Location away from the employee’s ODS that has been approved for the performance of officially assigned duties. It may be an employee’s home, a satellite office site, or other approved location. Telework locations do not include other non-IRS government offices, taxpayer or customer sites, or training sites.

  15. Telework-Ready for Emergencies - Those employees who have an approved Telework Agreement, necessary equipment, and work files at their telework location (or transportable to the telework location) to perform required duties. Also applies to designated emergency and continuity essential employees. BU employees should refer to the National Agreement, Article 50, Subsection 7B for the definition of telework-ready .

  16. Telework Types - options available for telework:

    1. Ad Hoc

    2. Recurring

    3. Frequent

    4. Full Time (restricted to Home as POD)

    Note:

    See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.1, Telework Types, for more details on telework type definitions.

  17. Teleworker – Employee with an approved Telework Agreement who works at an approved telework location(s) other than their ODS. A teleworker may also be a mobile (field) worker (but not concurrently), and will record telework hours separately in the SETR time entry system.

  18. Unassigned Workspace – An unassigned workspace is a workstation or office that can be utilized by a Frequent telework employee when he/she reports to the office. The employee would still retain locked filing capability on-site, but not within a specific assigned workspace.

  19. Unscheduled Telework - Unscheduled telework gives telework-ready employees the opportunity to work from a management approved alternate location, on a non-telework day when severe weather conditions or other emergency circumstances lead to an official announcement for the option for unscheduled telework. Employees should notify their manager as soon as possible of the decision to do unscheduled telework. Participation is voluntary. Unscheduled telework may also be used on an individual case-by-case basis with manager pre-approval. Once a request for unscheduled telework is approved, the employee is then scheduled to telework and is expected to start and end work on time.

Related Resources

  1. IRS Telework resources include:

    1. IRS Telework Portal: Primary telework information site to guide employees and managers through the process of becoming a teleworker and sustaining the telework experience.

    2. iManage Telework Site: For managers only. Targets specific information to assist managers in becoming effective leaders of teleworkers.

    3. OPM Telework Site: Provides Federal agencies with agency level Telework support.

    4. OPM Guide to Telework in the Federal Government, April 2011.

    5. Status of IRS Operations Decision Table (IRS Dismissal and Closure Procedures).

    6. National Agreement, Article 50, Telework.

Overview

  1. This IRM establishes parameters for using telework at IRS and applies to all BODs, BU and NBU employees, managers, and executives. For BU employees, where there is a conflict in policy between this IRM and Article 50 of the National Agreement, the National Agreement prevails.

    This IRM is designed to provide the structure needed for effective implementation and operation of telework at the IRS. Organizations finding the need for additional guidelines must ensure compliance with the provisions of this policy and fulfillment of applicable negotiated agreement obligations.

  2. Provides policy and guidance on the IRS Telework Program.

  3. Provides the legal basis and administrative oversight of the program.

  4. Provides definitions of terms and policies associated with telework as well as key exhibits.

Summary of Participation Requirements

  1. A Telework Agreement must be in effect prior to any teleworking arrangement commencing. Managers and employees should have a discussion regarding the employee participation in the IRS Telework Program, to include learning about the requirements of the program. This is followed by mandatory training and the submission of the Telework Agreement for approval. The manager must then consider the submitted request and respond within 20 business days. Each manager must keep a copy of each employee’s Telework Agreement in the employee’s Drop File (see IRM 1.4.50.3.1.2, Employee Drop File (EDF)) and upload a copy to the Telework Agreement Library/Telework Denial Library (as appropriate) on the IRS Telework Portal.

  2. Employees must meet and sustain IRS telework eligibility requirements and supervisor's approval to participate in the IRS Telework Program.

  3. Participation in the IRS Telework Program is voluntary; however, once an employee enters into a telework arrangement, the rules and policies that govern telework must be followed.

  4. Teleworkers must satisfactorily complete all assigned work, consistent with the approach adopted for all other employees in the work group and according to standards and guidelines in the employee’s performance plan.

  5. The approved telework location must be within 150 mile radius of the employee's assigned POD. Employees must use a GPS mileage calculator or the embedded link in the Telework Agreement form to determine the 150-mile radius (direct line measurement). It is not based on driving distance. Exceptions up to 200 miles may be approved. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.5, Distance Limitations for Telework Locations, on how to request and gain approval for an exception.

  6. Telework employees must physically report at least twice a pay period on a regular and recurring basis to the ODS station for the employee’s position of record, as indicated on the most recent Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50). The employee must report for the amount of time specified by the manager, and that time must be during the employee's regular tour of duty. See IRM 6.800.2.4.6, Pay Issues, Post of Duty, and the Requirement to Report to POD Twice a Pay Period, for exceptions.

  7. Managers have the right to direct telework employees to report to their ODS on scheduled telework days if needed and requested in advance. Employees are expected to report to their ODS on time (at the beginning of their shift). Reasons to report may include, but are not limited to: meetings, briefings, special assignments, emergencies, or duties that must be performed in the office. A request to report to the ODS is not a termination of the telework arrangement. The time taken for travel to and from the ODS is commuting time, not hours of work, unless the employee is required to report to the office unexpectedly during the course of their regular TOD.

  8. An employee's participation in the IRS Telework Program must not adversely affect the workload or performance of other employees in the office.

  9. All NBU teleworkers and BU Frequent and Recurring teleworkers must be prepared to do emergency telework. BU Ad Hoc teleworkers will do telework when already scheduled to telework on the day(s) of the emergency. BU Ad Hoc teleworkers may choose to volunteer to do emergency telework when not scheduled. For more details, see IRM 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework and National Agreement, Article 50, Section 7, and Status of IRS Operations Decision Table.

  10. In general, employees may not telework outside the boundaries of the United States or its territories.

Program Participation

  1. It is the practice of the IRS to provide its employees with the opportunity to participate in telework when practical and consistent with the IRS mission. Telework should be offered broadly and equitably to employees and managers, contingent on meeting and sustaining eligibility standards. Use of the IRS Telework Program is encouraged for official duties that are well suited for completion at an alternate worksite.

  2. Approval for participation in the IRS Telework Program is within a supervisor’s authority and is not guaranteed for an employee. Telework may not be suited for all positions and is not to be considered an employee entitlement. The operational needs of the IRS are paramount. The mission of the IRS, roles and responsibilities of a particular office, and the extent that the employee meets the eligibility requirements determine how often and to what extent telework is approved.

  3. Employees and managers should have a conversation about the employee’s telework participation. The IRS Telework Portal provides extensive information regarding the telework process and requirements.

  4. Entering into a telework arrangement is voluntary unless required for the employee's position as a condition of employment for emergency telework. This may be specified by the position description or through other designation (such as, but not limited to, a designation of Emergency Response Staff or Business Continuity responsibilities). This designation must be reflected on the employee's Telework Agreement.

  5. Telework does not alter the terms and conditions of employment, including an employee’s underlying rate of basic salary, benefits, individual rights, or obligations. Matters regarding pay, such as a change in ODS, overtime, leave, travel entitlements, etc., will be administered in accordance with current law, rules, and regulations. Telework shall not affect other conditions of employment (e.g., hours of work), unless specified in a written agreement.

  6. Participation in telework shall not affect an employee’s eligibility for receipt of awards, promotions, or any other condition of employment consistent with applicable law, OPM regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and departmental and IRS policy.

Telework Process

  1. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 requires that agencies make a designation of Telework eligibility for every employee AND convey that designation to the employee.

  2. Approval to telework must be based on legitimate business reasons as supported by the eligibility criteria in this IRM or the National Agreement, Article 50 as applicable, and must be consistently applied to all employees with similar work requirements. Managers should refer to those sources and consider any additional non- bargaining unit NBU criteria that may be specific to the BOD. Any employee who is approved to telework must be designated as eligible for telework in HR Connect.

Employee Telework Eligibility Designation in HR Connect
  1. Employees can locate their telework eligibility designation in HR Connect under My Information. Managers must maintain telework eligibility designations for all employees in HR Connect Manager Self Service. New employees should receive their telework eligibility designation within the first 90 days of their EOD date. If the eligibility designation in HR Connect is a NO, an employee may still request to telework contingent on meeting eligibility requirements.

    Note:

    In HR Connect, only the employee requires designation not the position.

  2. Managers should evaluate the full spectrum of telework options when considering employees’ eligibility. For example, if an employee is at a minimum eligible for Ad Hoc, designate the employee as a YES in HR Connect. This is appropriate even when the employee is expected to work on occasion with approval for each request, including working on short term projects at a telework site, with or without a computer. A Telework Eligibility Designation Tutorial for managers is available on the IRS Telework Portal and the iManage Telework site.

  3. If the majority of the questions below can be answered with YES, then an Employee Designation of YES is appropriate in HR Connect:

    1. For BU employees, does this position appear on the Eligible for Frequent Telework list in Article 50, Subsection 2F.

    2. Knowing the same position may exist in several BODs, but the employee’s eligibility may not be uniform across all BODs, can a business justification be made for this employee based on unique business requirements?

    3. Can the work of this employee be effectively accomplished outside of the traditional office/team setting, anywhere from a few hours every few months to several days of each work week? For example, telework may be appropriate for positions that require analysis, case reviews, decision making or report writing, research, policy development, data entry, and other computer or non-computer based assignments.

    4. Can the work of this employee be executed independently of other co-workers, support staff, and/or his/her supervisor, without any adverse impact on individual and/or overall team or office productivity, or customer service?

  4. Factors that may prohibit the designation of an employee as a YES in HR Connect include:

    1. Position requires daily access to PII and sensitive materials, which based on IRS policy, may not be removed from the ODS or is not accessible by computer.

    2. Position dictates that employees must perform daily regular face-to-face contact or other on-site activities to fulfill requirements of the position, and this cannot be adequately achieved at a telework site.

    3. Position requires special facilities or equipment on a daily basis that is necessary to perform the job and the facilities/equipment cannot be made available at the telework site.

    4. Position has unique security requirements that cannot be duplicated at the telework site.

Required Telework Training
  1. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 requires that every employee take telework training prior to engaging in a telework arrangement. Employees and managers should tentatively agree to the employee's participation in the IRS Telework Program prior to taking telework training.

  2. Training for both employees and managers participating in the IRS Telework Program is mandatory. Employees must provide a copy of the appropriate telework training completion certificate to their supervisor with their telework request. Managers and employees should ensure the training is recorded in ELMS under the employee’s Learning History.

  3. Managers who may not be participating in telework themselves but supervise teleworkers must take IRS Telework Training for Managers (Required) (Course #19413).

  4. The mandatory courses are only available on ELMS. Users select whichever course is appropriate-manager or employee:

    • IRS Telework Training for Bargaining Unit (BU) Employees (Required) (Course # 61633): The topics are aligned with Article 50 of the National Agreement, and include, but are not limited to: benefits of telework, types of telework, eligibility, manager and employee responsibilities, emergency telework, telework resources, and information regarding the Telework Agreement.

    • IRS Telework Training for Employees (NBU) (Required) (Course # 19393): The topics include, but are not limited to: benefits of telework, types of telework, policies, requirements and responsibilities, emergency telework, telework schedules, suitability and eligibility, timekeeping, technology support, and information regarding the Telework Agreement.

    • IRS Telework Training for Managers (Required) (Course # 19413): The topics include benefits of telework, requirements and responsibilities, performance management, types of telework, telework schedules, suitability and eligibility, Telework Agreements, emergency telework, timekeeping, technology and support, furniture and equipment.

  5. Existing teleworkers and managers are strongly encouraged to take the following optional refresher courses to reinforce knowledge of recent policy changes, including new emergency telework requirements:

    • IRS Telework Refresher Training for Employees (BU) (Course # 61676)

    • IRS Telework Refresher Training for Employees (NBU) (Course # 61668)

    • IRS Telework Refresher Training for Managers (Course # 61678)

  6. Completion of the courses will be indicated in the employee’s Learning History in ELMS. After the manager and/or the employee complete the training, they should discuss any questions to ensure understanding.

  7. Supplemental telework training courses are listed in Exhibit 6.800.2-4, Telework Training Resources. The optional resources supplement the mandatory IRS telework courses but do not replace them.

Application for Telework
  1. Once the eligibility determination has been made in HR Connect, and shared with the employee, the employee has the option to request to participate in telework. Even if the employee’s eligibility designation is NO, an employee can still apply for telework. If granted, then the Employee Designation in HR Connect must change to YES.

  2. A broad range of IRS occupations are eligible for each type of telework (Frequent, Recurring, or Ad Hoc) and includes BU, NBU, management and executive positions. BU positions are listed in the National Agreement, Article 50. This list is not all inclusive. Any employee may apply for telework as approval is made on a case-by-case basis.

  3. Each manager must maintain a copy of each employee’s Telework Agreement and insert a copy into the employee’s EDF. See IRM 1.4.50.3.1.2, Employee Drop File (EDF).

Telework Types
  1. Ad Hoc: Allows eligible employees to telework on a short term or episodic basis at the approved telework location (typically home). Ad Hoc telework is not appropriate for repeat instances of telework over time, and requires that an employee request and receive manager approval in advance of each instance of telework. Instances of Ad Hoc telework do not require the submission of a new Telework Agreement each time. The timing of the advanced notice, as part of the request process, should be agreed upon by the manager and employee and memorialized on the Telework Agreement.

  2. Recurring: Allows eligible employees to work from an approved telework location (typically home) and perform recurring work assignments for eighty (80) hours or less per month. Recurring Telework is appropriate for low hours of repeat telework. A Telework Agreement is required.

  3. Frequent: Allows eligible employees to work from an approved telework location (typically home) and perform regular and recurring duties for more than eighty (80) hours each month. A Telework Agreement is required.

  4. Full Time (restricted to Home as POD): Reserved exclusively for those employees whose POD is closed as part of approved space reduction initiative where the employee does not have access to another IRS POD within the commuting area. A Telework Agreement is required.

Temporary Telework Arrangements Due to Hardship
  1. A temporary telework arrangement may be approved for an employee experiencing a temporary hardship. This arrangement allows employees who meet and sustain telework eligibility requirements to telework temporarily (usually not to exceed 120 days), and if approved the following requirements may be waived for the duration of the temporary arrangement;

    1. the 150-mile limitation for the telework location

    2. requirement that the employee must be able to report to their ODS the next work day

    3. requirement to report to their ODS at least twice per pay period

    Examples may include;

    • an employee is recovering from a temporary injury or medical condition and has provided acceptable supporting medical documentation

    • the employee has a temporary need to support an immediate family member** experiencing a significant hardship

    **Includes spouses, parents (or legal guardians), brothers, sisters, children, "step" relationships and life partner.



    Conditions:

    1. Must be consistent with the business needs of the Employer

    2. The employee will resume teleworking, including reporting to their ODS at least twice a pay period, upon conclusion of their temporary telework arrangement.

    3. For those employees who do not normally telework, the employee is expected to stop the temporary telework arrangement and return to work at the regular worksite at the conclusion of their temporary telework arrangement.

  2. At the Employer’s discretion, management may approve a temporary telework arrangement as an interim solution for the following;

    1. the employee’s spouse/fiancé/life partner experiences an employment transfer or relocation

    2. the employee has an approved pending hardship relocation


    Conditions:
    The arrangement would conclude when a formal reassignment is completed for the employee.

  3. A formal Telework Agreement must be in place for all temporary telework arrangements including the details of the arrangement, which must include a start date, date of expected return to normal schedule (per items b and c above), and a copy added to the employee’s existing telework record in the IRS Telework Agreement Library on the IRS Telework Portal. Uploads of temporary telework agreements must be done through the BOD TW Lead. For existing telework records, the Telework Type Approved For field must be changed to reflect the temporary telework arrangement.

    Note:

    For requests for permanent hardship relocations (not involving telework) see Hardship Program, or National Agreement, Article 15, Section 5.

Telework and Reasonable Accommodation
  1. The IRS Telework Program may be used to support a reasonable accommodation (RA) for employees who qualify, including those employees who have partially recovered from work-related injuries/illness, and who can perform official duties on a full or part-time basis from an alternate worksite.

    1. RA is governed by Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, which requires Federal employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, unless doing so would cause an "undue hardship" .

    2. A RA may be temporary or permanent.

    3. Managers and employees are encouraged to work closely with the Reasonable Accommodation Services when considering RA.

    4. The Reasonable Accommodation Services is responsible for assisting employees with an RA when equipment is required that is outside the provisions of IRM 6.800.2, Telework Program, and/or the National Agreement, Article 50.

    5. All employees who are approved to telework as a RA, must have a Telework Agreement in the Telework Agreement Library.

    6. For more information, refer to IRM 1.20.2, IRS Disability Office, Providing Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities or the EDI Disability Branch website.

Eligibility Criteria
  1. An employee is eligible for Frequent, Recurring or Ad Hoc telework if he/she:

    1. Has been an employee of the IRS for at least twelve (12) months (however, the employee’s supervisor may shorten the one (1)-year service requirement on a case-by-case basis).

    2. Has a fully successful (or equivalent) performance appraisal. If the employee has worked more than twelve (12) months and has not received a performance appraisal, he/she is assumed to be fully successful.

    3. Is not on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The employee is not considered to be fully successful and is not eligible for participation in the IRS Telework Program until performance returns to the fully successful level.

    4. Has not received any disciplinary/adverse actions in the last twelve (12) months that would negatively impact the integrity of the IRS Telework Program. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.4.1, Misconduct Associated with Telework.

    5. Has not been officially disciplined on or after December 9, 2010, for being absent without leave (AWOL) for more than 5 days (at least 41 hours) in any one calendar year with the record of the discipline remaining in the OPF.

    6. Has not been officially disciplined on or after December 9, 2010, for violations of subpart G of the Standards of Ethical Conduct of Employees of the Executive Branch for viewing, downloading or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties.

    7. Has not had, nor currently has, duties that are changed due to a conduct investigation in which management has sufficient evidence of serious wrongdoing that would negatively impact the integrity of the IRS Telework Program. The employee may be suspended from Telework pending resolution of the conduct investigation. If the wrongdoing is upheld by the deciding official, the telework arrangement may be terminated if the employee had been put on notice, given an opportunity to respond and termination is appropriate.

    8. Is at the journey or full working level of his/her position (e.g., Revenue Officer GS-11), or has been in the position for more than two (2) years, whichever is less. However, the supervisor may decide to shorten the two (2) year time frame and the one (1) year service requirement above on a case-by-case basis.

    9. Has a telephone, high speed internet connection or an air card from an employer-approved provider or other approved technology from the employer if the work being performed at the telework site requires IRS network connectivity; work space suitable to perform work, utilities adequate for installing equipment, and a general work environment that is free from interruptions and provides reasonable security and protection for government property. Government furnished air cards will not be provided for the exclusive purpose to become telework eligible. Employees may not use their personal air card.

Misconduct Associated with Telework
  1. Employees are not eligible to telework if they received any disciplinary or adverse action in the last twelve (12) months "that would negatively impact the integrity of the Telework Program." This 12-month period only applies to misconduct charges that are not related to AWOL (41 hours or more) or pornography as covered in the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010. See above section "Eligibility Criteria" items (1) e and (1) f.

  2. Management should revisit an employee’s telework arrangements if they become aware of a pending conduct investigation containing sufficient evidence of wrongdoing that negatively impacts the integrity of the telework program.

  3. Managers must review each disciplinary action on a case-by-case basis to determine if the employee’s misconduct negatively impacts the integrity of the telework program. The integrity of the IRS Telework Program standard is not specifically defined because it is management’s discretion to determine if the misconduct warrants a denial, suspension or removal from telework. Management’s determination is grievable, and managers must be able to clearly articulate why they believe the employee’s misconduct negatively impacts the integrity of the telework program. For more information see Telework and Misconduct Guidelines for Managers on the IRS Telework Portal.

  4. Not all misconduct warrants denial, suspension or removal from telework. Management should consider the following, for example, when making telework determinations:

    • Did the misconduct occur while the employee was teleworking?

    • Did the misconduct impact the taxpayer?

    • What rule was violated or charged?

    • Was the misconduct egregious?

    • Was there a loss to the Agency?

    • Was the misconduct repeated?

    • Was there any financial or other gain due to the misconduct?

    • Was disciplinary action involved and what were the mitigating/aggravating factors considered?

    • Has the misconduct caused management to question the employee’s ability to honestly perform work away from an office setting (trust)?

  5. For BU employees - Managers should give consideration to the above examples and contact their Labor Relations Specialist.

  6. For NBU employees - Refer to Issues that Warrant Suspension and Discontinuance of Telework Privileges for Non-Bargaining Unit Employees for specific misconduct warranting denial, suspension or removal from telework. This is available on the IRS Telework Portal, under My Telework Eligibility by clicking on the How Does Misconduct Affect My Telework? link. This list must be followed.

Distance Limitations for Telework Locations
  1. The approved telework location must be within a 150-mile radius of the employee's assigned POD. Employees must use a GPS mileage calculator or the embedded link in the NBU Telework Agreement to determine the 150-mile radius (direct line measurement). It is not based on driving distance.

  2. Travel to and from the employee's assigned POD is not hours of work (i.e. not compensable) but rather normal commute time unless the employee is called into the office unexpectedly during a normal workday.

  3. Individuals may request to permanently extend the 150-mile limitation to a 200-mile radius from the employee’s assigned POD. These exceptions may be granted based on the nature of the employee’s work and must be beneficial to the IRS.

    1. For BU employees, this request must be filed by National Treasury Employee Union (NTEU) with the IRS Director, Workforce Relations Division (WRD). Denials of such requests are not grievable.

    2. For NBU employees, such requests must be filed through WRD and require Senior Level Business Unit concurrence.

    3. All requests are submitted through the use of the National Agreement mailbox at irs.2016.national.ag@irs.gov.

  4. Exceptions to the 150-mile limit may be granted on a temporary basis if the nature of the employee's work permits such an exception and approval of the temporary exception is beneficial to the employer. All temporary exceptions must be memorialized on the employee’s Telework Agreement (pen and ink notations on the Telework Agreement are acceptable) and a copy of the updated Agreement uploaded to the Telework Agreement Library by the BOD Telework Lead.

  5. The extended mileage limitation approval does not eliminate the requirement to report to the POD at least twice a pay period at no cost to the IRS.

  6. If requested by the employer, the employee must also be able to report to his/her office for the normal tour of duty (TOD) on the following workday at no cost to the IRS. Furthermore, the requirement to report to the POD could be for any number of workdays and will not entitle the employee to reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem.

Telework Agreements
  1. A Telework Agreement is required for all types of telework and must be in place prior to the start of telework. To finalize the telework approval process, either Form 11386, IRS Telework Agreement for BU or Form 11386-B, IRS Telework Agreement for NBU, as applicable, must be completed and signed by the employee and manager. This applies to all IRS employees, managers and executives.

  2. The primary purpose of the Telework Agreement is to specify the terms and conditions of the telework arrangement between the voluntarily participating employee and his/her manager.

  3. The employee's Telework Indicator in SETR and the number of telework hours routinely worked should match the type of Telework (Frequent, Recurring, Ad Hoc) listed on the Telework Agreement. Occasional short-term deviations of telework hours worked do not require a change in the telework type or a new Telework Agreement, and the SETR telework indicator should not be changed. Caution should be taken when considering Ad Hoc telework. Ad Hoc is not for repeat instances of telework and is not regularly scheduled.

  4. Copies of the most recent Telework Agreements (BU and NBU) must be uploaded into the Telework Agreement Library located on the IRS Telework Portal. The initial upload for a new teleworker is done by the manager or approved proxy. Subsequent updates are done by the BOD TW Lead. To assign a proxy for uploads, managers must use procedures outlined on the IRS Telework Portal. All prior versions of the employee’s Telework Agreements and other supporting documentation must remain in the employee’s telework record on the IRS Telework Portal. This is important because the information on the agreement may be used in administrative or judicial proceedings affecting employees’ personnel rights. Managers or their proxies must, at a minimum, retain a copy for themselves and one in the employee’s EDF and ensure that the employee is provided a signed copy. Copies may be requested from the library by contacting the BOD TW Lead.

    Note:

    Copies of telework records will be maintained for at least one year after the employee leaves the IRS Telework Program or leaves the IRS.

  5. All Telework Agreements (excluding Ad Hoc BU) must be reviewed at a minimum, annually and updated if needed. Information on the Telework Agreements must always be current, including the address of the approved telework location. The annual review is recommended to be concurrent with the annual performance review. Pen and ink updates are acceptable unless the telework type changes. In this case, a new agreement must be done and added to the employee’s existing record in the Telework Agreement Library by the BOD TW Lead.

  6. All BU employees must submit the form entitled IRS Telework Agreement for Bargaining Unit Employees(Form 11386) using the current electronic form (.pdf) or in hardcopy from the National Agreement, and submit it to their supervisor for approval.

    1. The IRS Telework Agreement for Bargaining Unit Employees (Form 11386) includes the acknowledgement of all Article 50 requirements (including emergency telework).

    2. One-on-one meetings with employees to discuss Telework Agreements do not constitute a 7114 meeting.

  7. All NBU teleworking employees are required to complete the current IRS Telework Agreement for Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) (Form 11386-B) and submit a copy to their manager. The completion of the form ensures all employees are aware of the emergency telework requirements. Instructions for the completion of the form are available on the IRS Telework Portal.

  8. A new Telework Agreement is also required when any teleworking employee wishes to change the type of telework for which he/she has been approved (e.g., Recurring to Frequent), or if there has been a significant change in the employee's job duties. If changes are made to an existing telework arrangement, a copy of the updated agreement must be loaded into the employee’s existing telework record. All prior versions of the employee’s Telework Agreements must remain in the employee’s telework record. The manager or proxy should contact the BOD TW Lead to upload any updated agreements.

  9. BOD TW Lead can provide managers with information regarding Telework Agreements posted to the Telework Agreement Library or the Telework Denial Library and also retrieve copies upon request. Every teleworker and his/her manager must retain a copy of the most recent Telework Agreement for their records.

Denial of Telework Agreement Requests
  1. Telework is not an employee entitlement. If the employee is designated in HR Connect as a YES ("Yes" equals eligible) to apply for telework but does not meet telework policy eligibility requirements, that request must be denied. Managers must work closely with their Labor Relations specialist when considering a denial for telework.

  2. Denial of telework must be based on one or more valid business reasons that are aligned with the eligibility requirements. Examples include, but are not limited to:

    1. Nature of work is not suitable for telework (e.g., requires regular face-to-face contact with customers on a daily basis, or handles highly sensitive documents that may not be transported to telework location)

    2. Employee's telework location exceeds the 150-mile radius from POD (absent an approved exception up to a 200-mile radius). See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.5(3), Distance Limitations for Telework Locations, on how to request and gain approval for an exception.

    3. Employee does not have high speed internet at telework site

    4. Employee failed to secure an approved Telework Agreement prior to teleworking

    5. Employee did not take mandatory telework training

    6. Employee was not able to make and receive telephone calls at telework site

    7. Employee’s current performance rating is less than fully successful or equivalent based on the most recent appraisal or if the employee is currently on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

    8. Employee has not completed twelve (12) months of service at IRS (may be waived by manager)

    9. Employee is not at journey or full working level (may be waived by manager)

    10. In last twelve (12) months the employee has officially been disciplined for an infraction that would negatively impact the integrity of the Telework Program (managers must work with their Labor Relations specialist to evaluate this condition prior to approving a Telework Agreement). See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.4.1, Misconduct Associated with Telework.

  3. Per the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010, managers MUST deny a Telework Agreement for official disciplinary actions for:

    1. Being AWOL for more than 5 days (41 hours) in any one calendar year, the record of the discipline remains in the OPF, and the misconduct occurred on or after December 9, 2010.

    2. Violations of the Standards of Ethical Conduct of Employees for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties. This infraction is a permanent denial of telework if the misconduct occurred on or after December 9, 2010.

    Note:

    Managers must contact their Labor Relations specialist for guidance on any of the above infractions.

  4. Managers MAY deny a Telework Agreement when:

    1. Due to staffing issues, an employee who otherwise has portable duties must provide on-site office coverage.

    2. Teleworking will result in severe work interruption, insufficient office coverage, lack of appropriate security/equipment or where the nature of the work otherwise precludes participation.

    3. Denial of Telework Agreements based on either a) or b) above may be temporary and the restriction lifted when appropriate.

  5. For additional information, regarding BU denials, managers should also consult Article 50, Section 2, Eligibility, of the National Agreement.

  6. Before a manager makes any determinations on denying telework, changing the conditions of the telework arrangement, or revoking an existing telework arrangement, he/she should contact his/her Servicing Labor Relations Office.

  7. Managers will find instructions for denying a Telework Agreement at the end of IRS Telework Agreement Form 11386-B (NBU)/Form 11386 (BU) or on the IRS Telework Portal. If a telework request is denied or telework is suspended or terminated, the manager will provide a written explanation to the employee as to why the employee cannot participate in the IRS Telework Program. Copies of the Telework Denials must be uploaded by the manager/proxy into the Telework Denial Library located on the IRS Telework Portal.

  8. Managers or their proxies upload the denial and related documents to the Telework Denial Library via link at the bottom of the IRS Telework Agreement for NBU (Form 11386-B) or through the IRS Telework Portal. Any subsequent uploads to an existing record must be done through the BOD TW Lead. The Telework Agreement Library and Telework Denial Library are permission protected. Managers or their proxies must retain a copy of their employee’s telework denial for their records, provide a copy to the employee, and place a copy in the employee’s EDF. BOD TW Leads can provide managers with information regarding telework denials posted to the libraries and also retrieve copies of telework denials upon request. A request form is available on the IRS Telework Portal.

  9. A management decision to deny an employee’s telework request may be subject to dispute resolution or grievance. BU employees must refer to Article 50 in the National Agreement between IRS and NTEU for dispute resolution procedures. An NBU employee whose request is denied may pursue the matter through the Agency Grievance System as outlined in IRM 6.771.1, Human Resources Management, Agency Grievance System.

  10. When an employee is denied or removed from telework, the Employee Telework Eligibility Designation Indicator in HR Connect must be set to NO for the duration of time that the employee is removed or suspended. In addition, the employee’s Telework Indicator in SETR must be set to DOES NOT TELEWORK.

  11. When an employee: 1) is removed from telework either voluntarily or by the manager; 2) downgrades his/her telework type (e.g., Frequent to Ad Hoc); or 3) separates from the IRS, all telework related IT equipment issued for telework must be returned from the telework location to the official POD. The employee or manager must open an OS GetServices ticket under My Technology. Equipment may also be turned in at IT Walk-in Centers. For information regarding returning furniture, refer to IRM 6.800.2.3.1.4.2, Equipment and Furniture Requests.

Actions for Approved Teleworkers
  1. Once an employee has been approved for Telework the actions in the following subsections must be followed (as appropriate):

Remote Access to the IRS Network
  1. Employees must be able to access the IRS network from their approved Telework location. To gain access, employees must request remote access (e.g., ERAP or other current remote access software) in the OL5081 System.

  2. Further information may be found at ERAP.

Equipment and Furniture Requests
  1. For all approved teleworkers, managers must carefully ensure that all equipment requests made by employees are required to accomplish their job. The manager must also determine whether such equipment requests are appropriate based on telework policy in this IRM or the National Agreement, Article 50, as applicable. All equipment requests are contingent on the availability of funding.

    1. All teleworkers will use an IRS-owned computer that was provided to them before being approved for Telework. Reference IRM 6.800.2.6.1, Computers and IRS Owned Equipment, for additional details.

    2. While giving full support to teleworkers as they execute the mission of the IRS, it is also understood that the IRS will not make additional equipment/technology purchases for the sole purpose of facilitating telework.

  2. Employees approved for Frequent telework will be provided the following equipment (subject to funding availability):

    1. A lockable file cabinet provided by the employer when requested. Managers should follow FMSS SOP-16-004-01, Furniture Acquisition Procedures for Approved Telework - Home as POD Arrangements, to request a file cabinet.

    2. A cell phone or the capability to make outgoing and receive incoming calls (Office Communicator Server (e.g., OCS) or other technology as available).

    3. An IRS-owned computer that was provided to them before being approved for Frequent Telework. If the personal computer is a desktop, it will be equipped with ERAP or more advanced technology for remote network access, or employees will be provided with alternative technology with capabilities supporting telework. Reference IRM 6.800.2.6.1, Computers and IRS Owned Equipment, for additional details.

    4. A second telephone line IF the employee has not been provided with the capability to make outgoing and receive incoming calls and can demonstrate that his/her personal telephone line is otherwise not available (e.g., used for other business by a family member). Once approved, the employee will be reimbursed by the Employer for the costs of the telephone line.

    5. Equipment/technology to afford the capability to print, scan and/or copy if needed for the employee to perform his/her job duties and approved by the manager.

  3. Employees on Recurring telework (if requested and related to their job duties):

    1. Will be provided with equipment to afford the capability to send and receive voice calls and messages to assist in their communication needs with management and customers.

    2. Will be provided equipment consistent for Frequent Teleworkers IF the employee works Frequent or Recurring Telework, and regularly performs a combination of Telework and field-based assignments (e.g., mobile workers) for eighty (80) or more hours each month.

  4. Employees on Ad Hoc telework will not be provided any additional equipment and must be able to complete the assigned work at the telework site using the equipment provided for their normal job duties.

  5. For all equipment needs, managers and/or employees should contact OS GetServices website.

Teleworker Timekeeping Requirements
  1. The Telework Indicator located on the Employee Profile tab in SETR must always match the telework type selected on the Telework Agreement.

  2. Once this indicator is activated, a telework check box appears on the Time Entry screen indicating the row in which telework hours are to be posted.

  3. Employees are responsible for accurately entering their telework hours in SETR and ensuring that their routine telework hours meet the criteria for the type of telework they selected on their Telework Agreement (e.g., Frequent telework is consistently more than 80 hours a month).

  4. When telework hours involve multiple timecodes, additional rows should be added to distinguish regular time versus credit, compensatory time, or overtime.

  5. Further information is found in IRM 6.630.1.1.3, Administration of the Federal Leave System – Employee Responsibilities.

Telework Requirements as Related to Mobile Work
  1. Mobile work (field work or field agent work) is characterized by routine and regular travel each pay period to conduct work at a customer site or other worksite separate from the POD or telework site. The employee performs work in the same locality pay area as their IRS ODS. Typically, this applies to audit, collection, and investigative-type functions including the work performed by revenue agents, revenue officers, and special agents. Other examples of mobile work include site audits, site inspections, investigations, property management, work performed while commuting, traveling between worksites, or on TDY.

  2. Mobile work is not synonymous with telework.

  3. Mobile workers may also request telework. Approval is contingent on meeting existing telework eligibility criteria.

  4. Mobile workers who are also teleworkers are excused from reporting to their official POD if they perform mobile work at least twice during each pay period. However, mobile workers are required to report to their POD at least twice a pay period if they do not perform mobile work during that same pay period.

  5. Mobile workers who are also teleworkers must ensure that telework hours, office hours and mobile work hours are recorded separately in SETR. For BU employees, see the National Agreement, Article 11, Section 23D.

Telework Site Operations
  1. Employees who are approved to telework are responsible for establishing a home/remote office that provides a suitable space to conduct work. Requirements will vary depending on the nature of the work and equipment needed. This includes being mindful of basic safety recommendations for the home office. See Exhibit 6.800.2-2, Safety Checklist.

  2. IRS has established guidelines and policy on the issuance and use of government owned equipment, furniture, and office supplies. Employees and managers must work with IT support staff to ensure IT equipment complies with IRS policy on information systems and computer security. This includes the protection of sensitive files and documents needed for work.

  3. IRS will provide equipment and furniture as described in IRM 6.800.2.3.1.4.2, Equipment and Furniture Requests; however, the IRS will not provide any additional office furniture, space alterations, or any physical setup except as required to provide reasonable accommodation. See also IRM 1.20.2, Providing Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities.

Face-to-Face Meetings at a Home Office
  1. Management has the right to meet with employees to give assignments and to review work as necessary at either the ODS, approved telework location, or a mutually agreed upon site. To ensure that Information Systems and sensitive information procedures are in place, management also has the right to conduct a home office inspection per these conditions:

    1. Unless otherwise agreed, a minimum of 24 hours advance notice must be given before management may inspect the employee's home worksite except in cases of emergency or similarly extraordinary cause. In all cases, as much notice as possible will be given. Such inspections should be conducted during the employee's normal working hours.

    2. If the employee refuses a worksite inspection, the manager may immediately cancel the employee's telework arrangement, and the employee must surrender all IRS owned equipment and return to the ODS.

  2. Work-Related Meetings at the Home Telework Site - For the protection of the employee, under NO circumstance should an employee working in a home office telework location meet with, or disclose his/her home location to a taxpayer or any other non-IRS person with whom the employee has a professional connection. This also includes avoiding any situation where a face-to-face meeting at the telework location could be interpreted as a violation of work standards, ethics, or conduct (e.g., actions that are prohibited at an office are also prohibited at a telework location). Employees faced with situations such as this should consult with their manager for assistance in finding a suitable alternate location to hold a meeting.

  3. Work-Related Meetings Away from Home Telework Site - For all other work-related meetings not in the home telework location, employees should continue to follow IRM and other formal guidance specific to their occupation regarding the location of taxpayer/representative meetings.

Requirements Regarding Remote Access from Non-US Locations
  1. When outside the United States or United States Territories, IRS employees shall only be permitted to remotely access IRS networks from a U.S. Government facility or network.

  2. IRS employees shall not remotely access IRS networks from foreign Internet Service Providers (ISPs) (i.e., hotels, Internet cafes, private residences, etc.).

  3. When outside the United States or United States Territories, IRS employees shall not be permitted to remotely access IRS networks using wireless technology including broadband cellular wireless services.

    1. Wireless services shall be disabled; and

    2. Wireless cards shall be physically removed, where possible.

  4. Laptop users shall refer to IRM 10.8.26, Information Technology (IT) Security, Government Furnished and Personally Owned Mobile Device Security Policy, Foreign Travel and Remote Access sections, for additional guidance.

Workspace
  1. Employees should be aware of their environment as they conduct business at their telework location. When establishing a home office, employees should evaluate the nature of their work and the level of sensitivity around the information they handle on a day-to-day basis. See IRM 6.800.2.6.3, Privacy Act and Sensitive Data. Teleworking employees should adhere to the following guidelines. For BU employees, should any of the guidelines conflict with a provision of a negotiated agreement, the agreement will prevail. Individual office practices may supplement this information. Teleworking employees have a responsibility to safeguard Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) information, including, but not limited to, PII and tax return information.

  2. Teleworking employees should consider:

    1. If possible, set home office designated workspace apart from the rest of the house, ideally with a door that can be secured.

    2. Avoid frequent interruptions or working within listening distance of others (IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure).

    3. The Clean Desk requirements apply to data left out in work areas, credenzas, desk tops, fax, copy machines, and in/out baskets. When away from the desk, secure SBU information in a locked room, locked file cabinet, or a locked desk (IRM 10.2.14.2, Clean Desk Policy).

    4. Whenever possible, IRS personnel should conduct phone conversations in private settings or in locations that minimize background noise or the potential for eavesdropping. Restrict telephone calls that include audible SBU data to within a closed office environment or out of the listening range of others (IRM 11.3.2.7.2, Use of Cell Phones and Cordless Devices).

  3. For more information on suitable workspace and proper privacy and security practices associated with SBU information, see Exhibit 6.800.2-1, Suitable Workspace Recommendations; IRM 6.800.2.6.2, Security Requirements; IRM 10.2.13, Information Protection; IRM 10.5.1, Privacy and Information Protection, Privacy Policy; IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance; IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure; and the Privacy & Disclosure Virtual Library website.

Home Utility Expenses
  1. The IRS assumes no responsibility for any operating costs associated with an employee using his/her personal equipment and residence as an alternate worksite. This includes home maintenance, insurance, utilities, telephone lines, high speed internet connection, etc.

Home Office Tax Implications
  1. Employees are responsible to timely file and accurately report their taxes. Employees are responsible for researching any tax implications associated with a home office. See Employee Tax Compliance. For more information and limitations, see IRS Form 8829, Expenses for Business Use of Home and IRS Pub 587, Business Use of Your Home, available at IRS.gov.

Office Supplies
  1. Employees participating in the IRS Telework Program will be provided general office supplies (e.g., paper, pens, toner cartridges, etc.) per IRS telework policy and as needed to perform official duties. Employees should use standard office procedures to acquire office supplies.

  2. Teleworking employees are responsible for maintaining and transporting their office supply stock at their telework site. Government furnished office supplies will not be mailed to the telework location and must be picked up during the required twice a pay period reporting time to the employee’s POD.

  3. Employees who meet the criteria for an exemption to report to the POD twice a pay period (e.g., mobile workers or HaP) or who have Reasonable Accommodation approval may have office supplies mailed to their approved telework location. See IRM 1.14.2, Supply Purchasing Program.

Mail
  1. The IRS’s mail management program provides that the mail room will be the focal point for all incoming and outgoing mail.

  2. All Frequent Teleworkers must have a designated, secure area at the POD for mail. This will allow the employee to pick up during the required minimum of twice a pay period reporting time to the employee’s POD.

  3. Employees working telework should plan to send mail on the days they report to their regular POD or another IRS location. If the mail cannot wait until the employee is in the office, the employee must deposit the mail or package in a secure carrier receptacle (e.g., drop box) or at an authorized shipping outlet (such as UPS) using an IRS office address as the originating address.

  4. Due to security and disclosure concerns, mailing official correspondence from an employee's residential mailbox is strictly prohibited. All mail must be sent through an authorized shipping outlet (such as UPS) using an IRS office address as the originating address.

  5. Official correspondence (such as with a taxpayer) must never be sent from or received at any telework location that is not an IRS office.

  6. Managers will be notified of inappropriate and/or misuse of mail funds and/or services. See IRM 1.22.5.11, Guidance on Flexiplace, Employee Mail and IRM 1.22.5.12, Processing Outgoing Mail, for further guidance on the IRS mail policy.

Termination of Telework
  1. Telework agreements may be suspended, modified or terminated by either the employee or manager as specified below.

  2. When an employee permanently ceases to telework for any reason, all government furnished equipment specifically provided for telework may not remain at the telework location and must be returned to the official POD as below:

    1. For IT equipment (e.g., multi-functional device printers), the employee/manager must put in an OS GetServices ticket under "My Technology". Equipment may also be turned in at "IT Walk-In Centers".

    2. Submit an Online 5081 form to remove remote access (e.g., ERAP or other current remote access software), unless required to perform official duties.

    3. Go to OS GetServices to resume/adjust the Transit Subsidy if needed.

    4. For file cabinets, upon an employee’s separation from Frequent Telework, the employee must input an OS GetServices ticket for “Non-IT Property Disposals" to request a determination regarding their file cabinet. The employee's assigned FMSS territory property officer will determine if the cabinet may be returned for reuse or is excess IRS personal property. If the cabinet is determined as excess, it will be “abandoned in-place” in accordance with Federal Management Regulation (FMR) 102-36.35 and IRM 1.14.4, Personal Property Management. Abandonment of federal excess and surplus personal property must be fully documented to establish a clear audit trail. Documentation is contained in FMSS 15-03, found on the FMSS Policies and Procedures website.

Modification, Suspension, or Termination of Telework Arrangements by Managers
  1. Managers may modify, suspend, or terminate a telework arrangement. Decisions must be made by the manager on a case-by-case basis and must be based on business needs, employee misconduct or employee performance. Telework is not an employee entitlement, even if the employee is considered eligible by IRS standards.

  2. Modifications most often occur when an employee’s duties change or if the employee with portable duties is temporarily being required to provide on-site office coverage due to staffing shortfalls or other business requirements. Modifications to an existing telework arrangement requires that the modification be documented on the employee’s Telework Agreement (pen and ink), and in the employee’s telework record in the Telework Agreement Library. Subsequent uploads of updated agreements must be done through the BOD TW Lead.

  3. Suspensions and terminations are more serious in nature and may be temporary (suspensions) or permanent (terminations). IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.7, Denial of Telework Agreement Requests, also outlines the most serious infractions for denial of telework which apply identically for suspension or termination.

    Other examples of reasons for suspension or termination of a telework arrangement would include:

    1. Anytime an employee falls below minimum eligibility requirements.

    2. Issuance of a PIP and/or intent to deny a within-grade-increase.

    3. The employee's performance declines and the decline can be reasonably attributed to working on telework (e.g., reduction in a mid-year or end-of-year appraisal).

    4. Issuance of a leave restriction letter.

    5. An employee who otherwise has portable duties is required to provide on-site office coverage.

    6. Failure to report to the assigned POD at least twice each pay period, or as a mobile worker where the work location varies on a recurring basis, failure to regularly perform work within the locality pay area at least twice a pay period.

    7. Refusal of a worksite inspection designed to ensure that information systems and sensitive information procedures are in place at the alternate worksite. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.6.1 (1), Face-to-Face Meetings at a Home Office.

      If any of these items occur, the Employer may immediately cancel the employee’s Telework arrangement and the employee must surrender all Employer provided equipment and return to the appropriate office setting. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.7 (2), Termination of Telework.

  4. If an employee has been granted telework as a reasonable accommodation, the manager should not assume that a less than fully successful performance automatically leads to a suspension.

    1. The Employer can proceed with documenting the less than fully successful performance but must also determine the cause of the performance problem to help evaluate the effectiveness of the reasonable accommodation.

    2. If the reasonable accommodation is not assisting the employee in improving his/her performance as intended, the employer and employee may need to explore whether any changes would make the accommodation more effective, whether an additional accommodation is needed, or whether the original accommodation should be withdrawn and another substituted.

    Note:

    For more information on reasonable accommodation, go to EDI Disability Branch website.

  5. Before a manager makes any determinations on changing the conditions of the telework arrangement, or revoking an existing telework arrangement, he/she should contact his/her servicing Labor Relations office.

  6. The procedure for terminating or suspending a Telework Agreement includes a written justification provided to the employee, a copy of which must be uploaded to the Telework Denial Library by the manager/proxy. The manager must also contact the BOD TW Lead to update the employee’s existing telework record.

Modification or Termination of Telework Arrangements by Employees
  1. Employees may request to modify or terminate their telework arrangement by submitting written notice to their manager at any time.

    1. Temporary telework modifications (e.g., training requirements, telework site becomes unavailable) may be made and do not require a change in Telework Agreement or adjustment to the SETR indicator.

    2. Any permanent modification that changes the type of telework arrangement (such as Ad Hoc to Recurring) will require a new Telework Agreement and update of information in SETR. In all cases, a copy of any update to an agreement must be added to the employee’s existing telework record in the Telework Agreement Library on the IRS Telework Portal by the BOD TW Lead. All prior versions of the employee’s Telework Agreements and other supporting documentation must remain in the employee’s telework record in the library.

    3. Termination or modification of telework arrangements by NBU employees will take effect the first day of the following pay period (e.g., to ensure current pay period telework hours are posted in SETR). Exception: For Frequent teleworkers as noted below.

  2. For Frequent Teleworkers:

    1. Employees who choose to work Frequent telework should be prepared to continue for a period of at least twelve (12) months given the impact it could create by returning to the office and requiring office space.

    2. Those who wish to terminate their telework arrangement and subsequently return to work in the IRS POD, will normally provide their manager with a thirty (30) day advance notice of the change, except in emergency situations such as the loss of space in the home, security reasons, or lack of equipment.

    3. The Employer will make reasonable effort to accommodate the employee's needs. Employees returning to the IRS offices under these circumstances must recognize that the equipment and work stations made available by the employer may not immediately be the same as they had prior to participating in the IRS Telework Program.

  3. For information on how to return IT equipment, see IRM 6.800.2.3.1.7(2).

Program Administration

  1. In general, rules for employees when teleworking are no different than when they work in the POD; however, special attention must be paid to the requirements for emergency telework. For more information, see IRM 6.800.2.5, Emergency Telework.

Telework Compliance

  1. IRS fully supports telework; however, participation remains an employee benefit, not an entitlement. Employees and managers must ensure that all telework eligibility requirements are met prior to approval, and sustained throughout the employee’s telework experience.

  2. The Telework Program Manager and BOD TW Leads will monitor telework-related data on an ongoing basis and take appropriate action to ensure that all telework requirements are being met. Teleworking employees who fail to meet and sustain telework eligibility standards will be evaluated for suspension/removal from telework.

  3. Critical compliance factors include:

    1. Uploading approved Telework Agreements to the Telework Agreement Library.

    2. First time uploads are completed by the manager/approved proxy, subsequent updates are completed by the BOD TW Lead.

    3. Proof of completion of mandatory IRS telework training in ELMS Learning History.

    4. A telework eligibility designation of “Yes” for the employee maintained in HR Connect.

    5. Telework hours are recorded accurately in SETR (e.g., separate from mobile work hours and posting "in office" hours as applicable).

    6. Reporting to the official POD at least twice a pay period as applicable.

    7. The employee’s SETR Telework Indicator always matches the telework type on the current Telework Agreement.

    8. The employee’s hours of telework consistently meets the criteria of the telework type approved. If not, the employee must: 1) complete a new Telework Agreement with correct telework type; or 2) adjust telework hours to meet the criteria (e.g., Frequent > 80 hours/month).

      Note:

      Occasional short-term deviations are acceptable with manager approval. Short-term deviations do not require a change in the telework type or a new Telework Agreement, and the SETR telework indicator should not be changed.

    9. Employee has no disciplinary actions in conflict with telework eligibility criteria. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.4, Eligibility Criteria.

    10. Employee maintains a minimum of fully successful performance rating.

    11. Compliance with any other requirements not identified above, but included elsewhere in this IRM.

Tours of Duty, Time and Attendance, Leave

  1. The governing rules, regulations, and policies concerning tours of duty, time and attendance, leave, compensatory time, and overtime remain unchanged for telework arrangements. Existing laws in Title 5 of the U.S. Code and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to telework arrangements.

Tours of Duty (Work Schedules)
  1. Employees are in a duty status when teleworking. They are expected to have the resources necessary to do their jobs and to concentrate on official duties without interruption.

  2. Employees are permitted to work at home or at an approved alternate worksite full days or a portion of a day when approved for a telework arrangement. Generally, employees teleworking for a portion of the day may not be paid (compensated) for commuting time to or from the ODS. See IRM 6.800.2.4.7, Telework: Commuting and Travel, for additional information.

  3. Employees may work any schedule allowed for their positions as defined in IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty, and that are offered by their respective organizations. For BU employees, these work schedules are also subject to the terms of the National Agreement.

Time and Attendance
  1. Managers must accurately certify time and attendance in the SETR system (or current time and attendance system), including hours worked as telework and mobile work, to ensure employees are paid only for work performed and that absences from scheduled TODs are accounted for correctly.

  2. Employees must submit or input their time and attendance in accordance with existing policy and ensure telework hours and mobile work hours are coded appropriately. Timekeeping for teleworkers begins with selecting the Telework Indicator and/or Mobile Work Indicator (as appropriate) on the Employee Profile tab in SETR which in turn adds a telework check box and/or mobile work check box on the Time Entry screen. For more information, see IRM 6.800.2.3.1.4.3, Teleworker Timekeeping Requirements. For BU employees, see Article 11, Subsection 23D of the National Agreement.

  3. Policies for Alternative Work Schedules (AWS), credit hours, overtime, and compensatory time are no different for employees who are teleworking than for those physically in the office. Credit hours, overtime and/or compensatory time earned while teleworking, do not count towards the 80-hour threshold for Recurring telework, but are recorded in SETR as telework hours.

  4. Excused absence (administrative leave) should rarely be approved for telework-ready employees. Managers may approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis (e.g.; power outage at the telework location). Telework employees may be directed to report to the ODS to complete their workday. Approved excused absence associated with Emergency Telework needs to be recorded in SETR. See IRM 6.800.2.5.4, Excused Absence Codes for Emergency Telework, for information regarding excused absence associated with emergencies.

Leave
  1. Regulations regarding leave remain unchanged under the IRS Telework Program. Leave must be requested and approved in advance and in accordance with existing practices, laws, regulations, and IRS and departmental policy. See IRM 6.630.1, IRS Absence and Leave, and the National Agreement, as appropriate.

  2. Managers must clearly articulate the rules for use of leave and the leave approval process. Telework employees are expected to adhere to the same policies and procedures as non-telework employees.

  3. See IRM 6.800.2.5.3, Emergency Operating Status Scenarios, to learn about leave implications during emergency events.

Performance Standards and Expectations

  1. Managing an employee who participates in telework is essentially no different than managing an employee in the office. Performance expectations and standards remain unchanged. Performance evaluations are based upon the same criteria for teleworkers and non-teleworkers, and employees participating in telework should have no higher or lower performance expectations than do those who are not participating.

  2. Remote management, including telework, requires managers to be diligent in managing for results and focusing on outcomes, business results and deliverables. Strong performance management skills in a virtual environment are even more important. The employee on telework is held equally accountable for the Rules of Conduct, Performance Standards, Time and Attendance, Ethics and all other regulations applicable to their position.

  3. The processes for managing the performance of all employees should include:

    1. Planning work and setting expectations;

    2. Monitoring performance;

    3. Developing employee skills;

    4. Appraising performance; and

    5. Recognizing employees for their accomplishments.

  4. IRS places a high premium on ethical standards and expects employees to conscientiously perform their duties at all times. All standards governing ethical behavior remain in effect regardless of how, where or when the work is performed.

Dependent Care

  1. Telework provides employees the flexibility to better manage work, family and personal responsibilities. Telework may not be used as a substitute for child care, day care, elder care or any other type of dependent care. Employees are to treat work hours as if they were at the ODS, giving full time and attention to work duties and responsibilities. School closures resulting in children being at the telework site does not qualify the employee for excused absence (administrative leave). Employees must make alternative arrangements for childcare or take unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours).

  2. Employees should not be actively engaged in caregiving activities while teleworking. Dependent care may be provided by another family member in the home while the teleworking employee continues to work, or employees may take advantage of leave options as needed to further support dependent care. In the event the level of care needed for a dependent prevents or disrupts work accomplishment, teleworkers should notify their manager as soon as possible and request appropriate leave, while performing dependent care responsibilities. Failure to comply with this policy, or diminished performance, could result in termination of the Telework Agreement.

  3. Temporary telework arrangements (usually not to exceed 120 days) may be requested to support family care in a geographic location away from the ODS or approved telework location. Managers must document the temporary arrangement on the Telework Agreement, including an agreed upon start date and date of returning to the original telework schedule and/or worksite. See IRM 6.800.2.3.1.3.2, Temporary Telework Agreements Due to Hardship.

Workers’ Compensation (Employee Injury/Illness Claims) and Other Federal Claims

  1. The Workers’ Compensation Program - is based on the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), which is administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). The goal of the program is to ensure that all employees who sustain temporary or permanent disabilities from a work-related injury or disease receive appropriate workers' compensation benefits and opportunities to return to full or limited duty employment. Workers’ Compensation is a combination of medical and/or monetary benefits that an employee receives when an employee sustains a work-related injury or disease (specifically defined as either a traumatic injury or an occupational disease or a recurrence of either of these).

    1. Workers’ Compensation Coverage - Federal employees who are directly engaged in performing their official duties are covered by the FECA 5 USC 8101 et seq., regardless of whether the work is performed on the agency’s premises or at an alternate worksite. However, when an employee is on property under his/her own control, activities that are not immediately directed toward the actual performance of official duties and therefore do not arise out of employment, will not be covered. The OWCP makes eligibility determinations based on the facts and circumstances of each case.

    2. Workers’ Compensation Responsibilities - An employee must immediately notify his/her supervisor of any accident or injury/illness sustained while conducting official duties at the alternate worksite, providing details of the accident or injury/illness and completing any required forms. The supervisor must review and investigate the employee’s report(s) of work-related accidents, injuries or illnesses at the alternate worksite in the same manner as would be the case for injury or illness at the conventional work place.

    3. Workers’ Compensation Claims - The employee is eligible to file a worker’s compensation claim for work-related injury/illness sustained at an alternative work location in accordance with current policies and procedures that are outlined in IRM 6.800.1, Employee Benefits, Workers’ Compensation Program. Questions regarding workers' compensation coverage, benefits and claim filing procedures should be directed to the IRS Workers' Compensation Branch toll-free 1-800-234-8323.

  2. Federal Tort Claims Act and Military Personnel and Civilian Employee’s Claims Act - Employees who are within the scope of their employment at the time of any incident that causes injury, damage or death to a third party are generally provided liability protection through the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671-2680. An employee, who through no fault of his/her own, incurs loss or damage to personal property that occurred during the performance of their official duty, may seek recovery under the Military Personnel and Civilian Employee Compensation Act (MPCECA), 31 U.S.C. § 3721 and implementing regulations found at Treasury Directive Policy 32-13. For additional information and requirements for claims, see Tort Claims and Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act.

Pay Issues, Post of Duty, and the Requirement to Report to POD Twice a Pay Period

  1. For an employee who teleworks from an alternate worksite, the employee’s POD is the location of the regular worksite for the employee’s position (i.e., the place where the employee would normally work absent a telework agreement). Any locality pay rate, wage rate, or special rate entitlement is based on the POD. Telework employees must report at least twice a pay period on a regular and recurring basis to the IRS POD for the employee’s position of record (as identified on Form Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action).

    Note:

    For approved HaP employees or other full time telework arrangements (e.g., reasonable accommodation, etc.), the official POD is the approved telework location.

  2. In accordance with the applicable regulation (5 CFR 531.605 (d) (2)), the regulation specifically permits management to make exceptions to the twice a pay period reporting requirement in appropriate situations of a temporary nature, including, but not limited to:

    1. If an employee’s work location varies on a recurring basis (e.g., a revenue agent working at a taxpayer site or other mobile work), then the employee is not required to report to the POD at least twice a pay period as long as the employee is performing work within the locality pay area of their POD on a regular and recurring basis (e.g., twice each pay period).

    2. If an employee is recovering from an injury or medical condition or is assisting with a family member’s recovery from an injury or medical condition (an employee should request leave for the period of time he/she is providing direct care and/or assisting a recovering family member).

    3. An emergency (e.g., severe weather such as hurricane, flood, etc.) prevents the employee from commuting to the POD.

    4. The employee is away from the area on extended official travel.

    5. If an employee is on scheduled leave or if a holiday falls on one of the two days he/she is regularly scheduled to be in the office, managers have the discretion to permit some flexibility so that the reporting requirement rule is not applied too rigidly.

Telework: Commuting and Travel

  1. Work performed during TDY or occasional work at a satellite office site not identified on the Telework Agreement is not considered telework. This includes travel to satellite offices for business purposes, such as meetings and special projects.

  2. The travel provisions that apply to employees working at the POD also apply to employees who telework. Commuting time from home to work and vice versa at the beginning and end of the day is not hours of work. When an employee reports to the office at the beginning of his/her TOD and wishes to return to the telework site before the end of his/her TOD, the employee may, with prior management approval, return home during his/her lunch (or meal) period such that the employee is not traveling home during work hours (including paid breaks). If the travel time exceeds the allotted lunch (or meal) period, the employee’s TOD may not be adjusted on a day-to-day basis solely to accommodate traveling to the telework site. If the employee desires to return to the telework site during working hours, the employee will, with prior managerial approval, need to account for that time by taking leave (e.g., annual leave, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours). The same holds true for employees who begin the day at the telework site and wish to go into the office later. The commuting time is not compensable and must occur on the employee's own time (e.g., lunch (or meal) period, annual leave, previously earned credit hours or compensatory time, LWOP).

  3. Management reserves the right to require employees to report to the POD (or alternate worksite) on scheduled telework days based on operational requirement (e.g., office assignments, meetings, training classes, filing season assistance, or details to other duties). These should be planned to give the employee advance notice to prepare to travel during his/her regular commute time.

  4. When an employee is scheduled for a full day TOD at the telework site and is directed by the manager to report to the POD (or alternate worksite) too late to travel during his/her regular commute time, administrative time will be granted for the travel (i.e., the travel is credited as hours of work).

  5. See IRM 6.550.1, Pay Administration, for more information.

Telework and Public Transit Subsidies

  1. Telework employees who participate in the Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP) must adjust their transit subsidies based on the frequency of their telework schedule. The following options may be used to adjust/cancel the subsidy amount:

    1. Employees who begin telework and receive a transit subsidy must adjust their allocation by:
      1. submitting a PTSP- Changes/Updates Form. The online form is located on OS GetServices under Other Services; Travel; PTSP; or
      2. submitting a manual Form 11664-C, Public Transportation Subsidy Program Change, to make adjustments to their transit subsidy if the employee does not have access to a computer.

  2. PTSP policies may be found in IRM 1.32.15, Public Transportation Subsidy Program (PTSP), and on the ERC website.

Emergency Telework

  1. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 states that "each Executive agency shall incorporate telework into the continuity of operations plan of that agency" . Incorporating telework into COOP planning ensures agencies identify how an organization's personnel will perform the duties and responsibilities necessary to continue the organization's essential functions during any type of threat or emergency from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work. The IRS is committed to implement telework to the greatest extent possible, to ensure systems and procedures are in place to support successful telework in any emergency.

  2. Telework is an important tool for achieving a resilient and results-oriented workforce. Telework provides an important flexibility allowing operations to continue in times of emergency. The IRS has adopted telework as a critical component of its COOP planning. Use of telework in this capacity will enable IRS to continue fulfilling its mission through hazardous weather, pandemic, physical attacks or any other event that would result in a change of operating status.

  3. This guidance applies to all employees of the IRS who have been approved to telework via a properly approved Telework Agreement. This guidance, however, should be read in conjunction with any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Should the guidance herein conflict with any provisions in a collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement are controlling for BU employees.

  4. IRS dismissal and closure procedures (covering emergency telework, leave, excused absence, etc.) are contained in the Status of IRS Operations Decision Table.

Preparing for Emergency Telework

  1. When severe weather is anticipated, the Senior Commissioner’s Representative (SCR) may issue a pre-event notice to all employees in the affected geographical area to advise them of the impending emergency. The notice will also include the requirement for telework-ready employees to take the necessary equipment and work to their telework location to enable telework for the duration of the emergency. Managers may also require telework-ready employees to prepare to telework in the absence of, or in addition to, the SCR notice.

  2. Telework-ready employees are responsible for maintaining an awareness of local weather events or other predicted emergencies (e.g., mass transit shut downs). When severe weather or other emergency is anticipated, employees who are working in the office are required to prepare (with or without official notice) by taking the necessary equipment and ample work files to their telework location to sustain work throughout the emergency event. For BU employees, refer to the National Agreement and FAQs (Labor and Employee Relations) for additional information and guidance. If a telework-ready employee fails to prepare to telework due to circumstances beyond the employee’s control (e.g., the emergency was not anticipated, the employee was out of town and unable to retrieve work files and/or equipment), the employee is required to contact his/her manager as soon as possible to determine if there is any level of work that may be accomplished at the telework location. Managers must thoughtfully consider all work assignments that can be performed before approving excused absence for any telework-ready employee for all or part of a workday when the office is closed. If excused absence is approved, time will be charged to OFP 990-59566 - Administrative Leave - Miscellaneous.

General Requirements

  1. When an emergency necessitates a change in operational status (e.g., an office closure, delayed opening, open with unscheduled telework, early dismissal, etc.), all telework-ready employees are required to perform emergency telework in accordance with their Telework Agreement and the National Agreement. Employees will be officially notified of the change in the operating status of the office via any of the following methods:

    • The IRS Emergency Information Hotline at 1-866-743-5748, (TTY 800-877-8339); Deaf and Hard of Hearing employees can access the Emergency Hotline using the Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339;

    • An official email notification from the local SCR, front-line manager, or other management official regarding an emergency, or anticipated emergency; and/or

    • OPM announcements through local media in the Washington D.C. area (for those employees within National Capital Area). See Office of Personnel Management (OPM) website.

  2. All IRS employees with approved Telework Agreements and portable equipment and work files are considered telework-ready (except for BU Ad Hoc teleworkers) and are required to telework in emergency situations, in accordance with their current Telework Agreement and the National Agreement. In the event of an emergency office closure, employees who are telework-ready are expected to start teleworking at the beginning of their normal TOD, unless the same conditions that caused the office closure also affect the employee’s telework site (e.g., power failure). See IRM 6.800.2.5.2.1, Emergency Situation Affects Telework Site, for more information.

    Note:

    BU Ad Hoc employees who are previously scheduled on the day of the emergency will be expected to telework if the office is closed.

  3. Alternatively, if the telework-ready employee chooses not to telework during the emergency, he/she may request to use unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours, etc.). Managers will make every effort to approve unscheduled leave during emergency office closures when requested by telework-ready employees to tend to personal matters (e.g., tend to family or other responsibilities). Telework-ready employees on preapproved leave will remain on leave for the day unless they choose to cancel the leave and request to telework instead.

Emergency Situation Affects Telework Site
  1. Employees at a telework site (or other alternate worksite) who experience an emergency situation that has also affected the ODS (e.g., where a power outage forces the closure of their ODS and the same power outage prevents the telework employee from completing his/her work assignments at the telework location) are required to contact their manager as soon as possible to explain the circumstances and determine if there are any additional duties that may be assigned. Managers must thoughtfully consider all work assignments that can be performed before approving excused absence. If it is not feasible for the employee to continue to work, the telework employee will be provided the same amount of excused absence granted employees who were working in the closed facility upon providing appropriate documentation in support of that claim. Excused absence approved due to the same severe weather emergency at the ODS and telework site should be charged to OFP 990-59511 - Administrative Leave - Severe Weather. Excused absence approved due to the same non-weather emergency (e.g., power outage not caused by severe weather) at the ODS and telework site should be charged to OFP 990-59512 - Administrative Leave - Other Building Closure.

  2. Employees at a telework site (or other alternate worksite) who experience an emergency situation (e.g., power outage) that has not affected the ODS (i.e., the office is open) are required to contact their manager as soon as possible to explain the circumstances and determine if there are any additional duties that may be assigned. Employees may be directed to report to the ODS or another alternate worksite to complete their workday. Employees required to travel to the ODS during regular duty hours will be granted administrative time (duty time) for the travel. Managers may not extend the workday to account for the travel time to the ODS. If the manager has determined it is not feasible to direct the employee to the office and there are no additional duties that may be assigned, excused absence may be approved and should be charged to OFP 990-59566 - Administrative Leave - Miscellaneous.

  3. See IRM 6.610.1.3.2.4, Emergency at the Telework Site, and the Status of IRS Operations Decision Table for additional information.

Telework and Mission Essential Functions
  1. Employees designated by management to support mission essential functions as a condition of employment, are required to telework if possible and as needed in office closure emergencies, and must have an approved Telework Agreement in place.

  2. Employees deemed essential for continuity of operations are generally expected to telework (with an approved Telework Agreement on file) and begin work on time. These employees are listed in their Business Unit’s Continuity Plan. See IRM 10.6.1, Continuity Operations Program, Continuity Planning Requirements, for additional information.

Emergency Operating Status Scenarios

  1. The Status of IRS Operations Decision Table provides comprehensive telework, leave and excused absence guidance for the various emergency operating status scenarios for BU and NBU employees. The Table should be relied on to ensure Servicewide consistency in the handling of these situations.

  2. Scheduled Telework When Office is Closed – All telework-ready employees who are already scheduled to telework on the day of the emergency must begin telework on time and continue to telework through their normal TOD, or request unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours, etc.). Employees who are on preapproved leave on a scheduled telework day remain on leave unless they request to cancel the leave and telework instead.

  3. Unscheduled Telework When Office is Closed

    1. All telework-ready employees who are not scheduled to telework are expected to perform unscheduled telework when the office is closed for the entire day in accordance with their Telework Agreement and any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Alternatively, employees may request unscheduled leave (e.g., annual or LWOP, previously earned compensatory time or previously earned credit hours, etc). Telework-ready employees who are expected to telework, but are on preapproved leave, will remain on leave for the day unless they choose to cancel the leave and request to telework instead.

    2. Each day of unscheduled telework during an office closure will count toward the two day per pay period requirement to report to the POD. In addition, unscheduled telework hours worked during an office closure when required by management do not count toward the 80-hour limit per month for Recurring teleworkers. When recording time for unscheduled telework, employees should check the telework checkbox on their SETR Time Entry screen as they would on a normal telework day.

  4. Telework When the Office is Open with the Option of Unscheduled Telework or Unscheduled Leave – When the office is "open with an option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave" , telework-ready employees not already scheduled to telework have the option to request to perform telework for the workday or request unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours) for the day. Before granting unscheduled telework, managers should ensure that the employee has sufficient work for the entire workday. If the employee is approved for unscheduled telework, the employee will begin his/her workday on time and continue to telework through their normal TOD. Employees on preapproved leave will remain on leave for the day unless they choose to cancel the leave and request to telework instead.

  5. Telework When the Office is Open with Delayed Arrival with Option for Unscheduled Telework or Unscheduled Leave – When the office is "open with delayed arrival with the option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave" , employees already scheduled to telework begin work on time. Telework-ready employees not already scheduled to telework have the option to request to perform telework for the workday or request unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours) for the day. Before granting unscheduled telework, managers should ensure that the employee has sufficient work for the entire workday. If the employee is approved for unscheduled telework, the employee will begin his/her workday on time and continue to telework through their normal TOD. Employees on preapproved leave will remain on leave for the day unless they choose to cancel the leave and request to telework instead.

  6. Telework When the Office is Open with Early Departure

    1. Teleworking employees will continue to telework for the full workday. Telework employees on preapproved leave for the entire day will remain on leave for the day. If it is possible that the office will be closed the next business day(s), all telework-ready employees must ensure they have the necessary equipment and ample work files to telework during the anticipated office closure.

    2. NBU telework-ready employees who are in the office at the time of the early dismissal, are required to take their equipment and work files to their telework location to finish their TOD working at their telework site. If there is insufficient time remaining in the employee’s TOD as determined by their manager, the employee will be granted excused absence (administrative leave) for the period from the departure time to the end of their TOD (similar to non-telework-ready employees). For additional information regarding BU employees, refer to the National Agreement and FAQs.

    3. Employees required to travel to the telework location during regular duty hours will be granted administrative time (duty time) for the travel. It is not appropriate to extend the workday to account for the travel time to the telework location.

    4. Telework-ready employees who do not wish to finish their TOD at the telework location may request to use unscheduled leave (e.g., annual, LWOP, previously earned compensatory time, or previously earned credit hours) for the remainder of the day.

    5. Telework-ready employees working in the ODS who are experiencing circumstances warranting special consideration (e.g., a hardship due to the emergency) may request excused absence (administrative leave) to depart the ODS prior to the time set for dismissal. Managers may grant excused absence (administrative leave) consistent with workload and staffing needs, from the time the telework-ready employee departs through the remainder of the TOD, provided the employee has furnished reasonably acceptable documentation.

    6. Employees on preapproved leave for the entire day will remain on leave for the day.

    7. See IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty and the Status of IRS Operations Decision Table for more information.

Excused Absence Codes for Emergency Telework

  1. 990-59511 - Administrative Leave - Weather-related building closure.

  2. 990-59512 - Administrative Leave - Other building closure (not due to weather).

  3. 990-59566 - Administrative Leave – Miscellaneous:

    1. Office is open and employee cannot report due to emergency.

    2. Office is closed and manager confirms that telework-ready employee has no work to perform at the telework site.

    3. Office announces early dismissal, employee is approved to depart before dismissal time.

Pandemic Planning

  1. The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan references the benefits of using telework to slow the spread of disease by keeping face-to-face contact to a minimum (often referred to as social distancing) while maintaining operations as close to normal as possible. Telework can also help retain functionality as infrastructure issues and other challenges make the main work site difficult to access.

  2. Pandemic Recommendations for Supervisors:

    1. Prepare ahead of time by implementing telework (at a minimum Ad Hoc) to the greatest extent possible in the workgroup to ensure Telework Agreements are in place to support successful remote work in an emergency.

    2. Communicate expectations to all employees regarding their roles and responsibilities in relation to remote work in the event of a pandemic health crisis.

    3. Establish communication processes to notify employees of activation of any emergency plan.

    4. Assess requirements for working at home (e.g., supplies and equipment needed for an extended telework period) with each employee and in keeping with telework policy.

    5. Practice telework regularly to ensure effectiveness.

    6. Be familiar with IRS and workgroup pandemic health crisis plans and individual expectations for telework during a pandemic health crisis (e.g., performing emergency telework).

  3. Pandemic Recommendations for Employees:

    1. Maintain current Telework Agreement specifying any pandemic health crisis telework responsibilities, as appropriate.

    2. Perform all duties assigned by management, even if they are outside usual or customary duties.

    3. Practice telework regularly to ensure effectiveness.

    4. Be familiar with IRS and workgroup pandemic health crisis plans and individual expectations for telework (e.g., performing emergency telework as appropriate) during a pandemic health crisis.

  4. The IRS maintains a Pandemic Plan as required by the Department of Homeland Security. As a supplement to that plan, IRS has developed The Infectious Disease Protocol available on the ERC. The protocol document conveys IRS’s commitment to protect the health of its workforce and provide its employees with the essential information to enable them to do their part in preventing disease at the workplace.

  5. The Continuity Program Pandemic Plan requirements are found in IRM 10.6.1, Continuity Operations Program, Continuity Planning Requirements.

Teleworking and IT Support

  1. All existing IT guidelines regarding IT and peripheral equipment should be followed.

Computers and IRS Owned Equipment

  1. As part of the Telework Agreement, IRS-owned property, including computers, docking stations, software, and other telecommunications equipment may be used by employees in their telework location, following guidelines for limited personal use. See IRM 10.8.27, Information Technology (IT) Security, Internal Revenue Service Policy on Limited Personal Use of Government Information Technology Resources. The IRS will retain ownership and control of hardware, software, and data in these situations. Software other than that provided by IRS shall not be installed on IRS-owned equipment.

  2. For the purposes of telework, employees are only entitled to one set of equipment as outlined in this IRM or the National Agreement, Article 50. Duplication of equipment at the office and at the telework location is not permitted (e.g., having a printer in both locations).

  3. The IRS is responsible for maintenance, repair, and replacement of official equipment. The employee must notify the manager immediately following a malfunction of IRS-owned equipment and submit a ticket through OS GetServices. The employee may be required to bring equipment (e.g., desktop or laptop computer) into the office for repairs. If repairs are extensive, and replacement equipment is not available, the employee may be required to report to the ODS until usable equipment is available.

  4. If IRS-owned or controlled equipment and/or software is damaged by non-employees (e.g., relatives or dependents of the employee), the employee will be held liable for all repair or replacements to the same extent he/she is presently held accountable when equipment is damaged due to negligence.

  5. Only Frequent teleworkers are permitted to take their desktop computers home for telework. Desktop computers may be used for telework under the following conditions:

    1. If the employee is assigned a desktop computer and approved for Frequent telework, specific steps must be taken to ensure that the desktop computer and its data are secure when they are taken out of an IRS office.

    2. Encryption software, VPN software, and remote access software must be installed and/or configured to support desktop computer use for telework.

    3. These procedures are listed in Guidance for Using Your Computers for Telework and must be followed to enable desktop use at a remote location.

  6. Transfer of furniture, supplies, and non-IT equipment between the office and the telework location is the responsibility of the telework employee, the manager, and local FMSS staff, as appropriate.

  7. Only individually issued IT equipment (e.g., laptop, monitor, docking station) is authorized to be moved/relocated by the employee/manager. Corporate or shared IT equipment (e.g., network printers, scanners, copiers) is not authorized to be moved or relocated to the telework location.

  8. Teleworking employees who wish to have IT equipment sent to their telework site must be willing to provide a home address for shipping purposes. Employees will use Form 9814, Request for Mail/Shipping Services, for this purpose.

Security Requirements

  1. IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance and IRM 10.8.26, Information Technology (IT) Security, Government Furnished and Personally Owned Mobile Device Security Policy, provide security guidance for the protection of IRS assets and data. In addition to complying with the requirements defined in these IRMs, telework employees must also comply with the guidance provided within this IRM.

  2. Telework employees must comply with IRS security procedures and ensure adequate security measures are in place to protect the equipment and information housed or stored on assigned computers. Failure to comply with security procedures and regulations may be grounds for termination of telework.

  3. Only hardware/software configurations approved by the IRS and authorized by an approving official for the alternate worksite shall be installed on IRS-owned or controlled computers.

  4. At all times, mobile computing device users must follow IRM 10.8.26.3.8, PE - Physical and Environmental Protection:

    1. Be responsible for the physical security of their mobile computing device.

    2. Secure their IRS mobile computing device when not in their possession.

    3. Never leave their powered-on mobile computing device unlocked when it is not in their presence.

    4. Secure their mobile computing device(s) (e.g., use of cable lock, screen lock) from theft or tampering when located in an ODS and at an approved telework location.

    5. When leaving the telework location, secure laptop and work files, lock doors and windows, and activate security system (if available).

    6. When traveling, never check computer equipment as luggage. Always maintain possession of computer equipment and watch it carefully. Computer equipment must NEVER be left unattended.

    7. Do not leave laptop unattended in any motor vehicle.

    8. Do not take IT equipment out of the country, unless authorized as part of official duties.

  5. Employees are prohibited from using personally-owned computers, printers or software including portable electronic devices, to access, process or store IRS information (e.g., information pertaining to taxpayers, financial data, personnel issues, law enforcement, SBU, PII, proprietary information, etc.), unless approved through the BYOD program. Secure information includes:

    1. Sensitive information (e.g., SBU, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), PII) shall not be downloaded to mobile computing devices or other portable media devices if the data are available, accessible, and utilizable on another system (under IRS defined control). IRS computers have a special folder for SBU data. Data in the folder is encrypted, or coded, to protect it. Always save and encrypt sensitive data in the laptop's SBU Data folder. Sensitive data on an IRS mobile computing device and other portable media shall only be permitted when it is necessary for the user to perform their duties.

    2. IRS sensitive information (e.g., SBU, CUI, and PII) stored or processed on a mobile computing device shall be protected with the same requirements as hard-copy paper documents (e.g., markings, distribution, destruction) and in accordance with the requirements defined within IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance (under IRS-defined control).

    3. Only IRS approved mobile operating system based devices (e.g., smartphone, tablet, etc.) shall be used to send, receive, store, or process sensitive information.

    4. Classified data which may not be processed, sent, received, or used on mobile computing devices.

      Consistent with IRS Security policy, all secure information that is not in the possession of the teleworking employee must be kept in a locking file cabinet or drawer. Employees are also responsible for protecting any taxpayer information, as well as the personal information of employees, contractors, applicants and visitors to the IRS. All PII in an employee’s possession (whether the PII is in paper form or in IRS computer equipment and computer systems) must be protected.


    See Exhibit 6.800.2-1, Suitable Workspace Recommendations.

  6. Report any security incident. Employees should immediately (within 1 hour) report all security incidents to their manager and to the IRS Computer Security Incident Response Center (CSIRC) to reduce the impact/severity of the incident.

Privacy Act and Sensitive Data

  1. Employees must comply with all required security measures and disclosure provisions, including password protection and data encryption, so that at no time IRS security, disclosure, or Privacy Act requirements are compromised.

  2. Limit exposed files only to those being worked. All other files are to be kept secured. The IRS Clean Desk Policy found in IRM 10.2.14, Methods of Providing Protection, must be followed.

  3. Sensitive information accessible in the telework location at the end of the workday must not be left unattended. Files and other information subject to Privacy Act regulations must be secured in a way that renders these records and data inaccessible to anyone other than the employee. At a minimum, this requires that all records and data be kept secured when not in the possession of the employee. See IRM 10.2.14.2 , Implementation of Clean Desk Policy.

  4. Access to confidential and sensitive materials must adhere to the following statutes and regulations on the Production and Disclosure of Tax Return Information or other Sensitive Materials. 5 USC 552 (Freedom of Information Act or FOIA); IRS FOIA regulations at Title 26 CFR 601.702; Treasury FOIA regulations at Title 31, subpart A, section 1.1 - 1.7. The Privacy Act, 5 USC 552a and Treasury Privacy Act regulations at 31 CFR Subpart C sections 1.20-1.36. The following IRMs provide guidance on access and protection of tax and other sensitive information: IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure; IRM 10.8.1, Information Technology (IT) Security, Policy and Guidance; and IRM 10.2.1, Physical Security, The Physical Security Program.

  5. When SBU documents must be destroyed at a telework location, and consistent with that document’s records management policy, the employee must secure it in a large enough envelope marked confidential, and, if possible, carry it to the office for shredding. See IRM 11.3.1.16.1, Transporting Documents. Specific requirements are in IRM 10.2.13.4.4, Transmission and IRM 10.2.13.4.5, Disposition and Destruction. Protect SBU documents for shredding the same as other SBU documents (IRM 10.2.13.4.5). Sensitive information must be properly disposed of according to IRM 1.15.3, Records and Information Management, Disposing of Records.

  6. All employees must report any breach of PII in the telework location immediately (within one hour) to their manager and the appropriate office. Incidents involving the loss or theft of hardcopy records or documents containing sensitive information, (e.g., packages lost during shipment, etc.), are reported to PGLD via the PII Incident Reporting Form. See IRM 10.5.4.3.3, Inadvertent Unauthorized Disclosures and Losses or Thefts of IT Assets and Hardcopy Records/Documents, for the reporting requirements for an inadvertent unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information, or the loss or theft of an IRS IT asset, BYOD asset, hardcopy record or document containing sensitive information. Use the IF/THEN Chart to guide you in determining where and how losses, thefts, or inadvertent unauthorized disclosures of personally identifiable information and losses or thefts of IT assets must be reported. Refer to the Report Losses, Thefts and Disclosures page in the Disclosure and Privacy Knowledge Base for additional information concerning incident reporting. Also see the Privacy, Governmental Liaison and Disclosure website.

Suitable Workspace Recommendations

Teleworking employees have a responsibility to safeguard SBU information, including, but not limited to, PII and tax return information, per IRM 6.800.2.6.2, Security Requirements, and Article 50, Section 5B of the National Agreement. Employees should be aware of their environment as they conduct business at their telework location. When establishing a home office, employees should evaluate the nature of their work and the level of sensitivity around the information they handle on a day-to-day basis. Per IRM 6.800.2.6.3, Privacy Act and Sensitive Data, teleworking employees should adhere to the following guidelines. For BU employees, should any of the guidelines conflict with a provision of a National Agreement, the National Agreement prevails. Individual office practices may supplement this information.

Related Policies for Secure Offices
Reference(s) Recommendations
IRM 6.800.2.3.1.6.3, Workspace If possible, set home office designated workspace apart from the rest of the house, ideally with a door that can be secured.
IRM 10.2.13.4.5, Disposition and Destruction Protect SBU documents for shredding the same as other SBU documents.
IRM 10.2.14.2, Implementation of Clean Desk Policy Follow the IRS Clean Desk Policy
Limit their exposed files only to those they are working. Keep all others secured.
Secure SBU information in a locked room, locked file cabinet, or a locked desk when away from the desk.
Leave no sensitive information accessible in the telework location at the end of the workday.
IRM 10.5.4.3, Report Losses, Thefts and Disclosures Report any breach of PII in the telework location immediately to their manager and the appropriate office within one hour, as described in this IRM and the PGLD Report Losses, Thefts or Disclosures website.
IRM 10.2.13.4, Protective Measures for Sensitive Information and IRM 11.3.1.16.1, Transporting Documents When appropriate to destroy an SBU document in a telework location consistent with that document’s records management policy – secure it in a large enough envelope marked "confidential" , if possible, and carry it to the office for shredding.
IRM 10.2.13, Information Protection
IRM 10.5.1, Privacy Policy
IRM 10.8.1, IT Security
IRM 11.3.1, Disclosure
For more information on proper privacy and security practices associated with SBU information, see these IRMs and the PGLD website.
IRM 11.3.1.13, Protecting Confidentiality Avoid frequent interruptions or working within listening distance of others.
IRM 11.3.2.7.2, Use of Cell Phones and Cordless Devices Whenever possible, IRS personnel should conduct cellular phone conversations in private settings or in locations that minimize the potential for eavesdropping. Contain telephone calls that include audible SBU within a closed office environment or out of the listening range of others.

Safety Checklist

The purpose of this checklist is to acquaint IRS teleworking employees with workplace safety guidelines at their telework locations. The recommendations on this checklist do not include every potential workplace health and safety hazard, and employees are reminded to always remain aware of their work environment along with any safety and health risks that may be encountered there. For further information, including contact information for IRS safety officers, please see the Environment, Safety, and Health website.

1 Develop and practice a fire evacuation plan for use in the event of an emergency.
2 Keep your work area (particularly exits) free of obstructions and clutter.
3 Check smoke detectors regularly and replace batteries once a year.
4 Keep a working fire extinguisher conveniently located in your telework location.
5 Ensure that all extension cords have a grounding conductor.
6 Keep telephone, computer, and other wires untangled and out of the way. Do not place cords under rugs or in walkways.
7 Repair or replace all exposed or frayed wiring and cords immediately upon detection.
8 Do not overload electrical outlets.
9 Ensure electrical switches and outlets have tight-fitting covers or plates.
10 Use surge protectors for computers, fax machines, and printers.
11 Keep your work area organized by storing supplies, boxes, and papers in file cabinets or drawers.
12 Place heavy items (e.g., computers, printers etc.) securely on sturdy, level, well-maintained furniture.
13 Keep computer components out of direct sunlight and away from heaters.
14 Position your computer monitor so that the top of the screen is at eye level and you minimize screen glare.
15 Position your keyboard surface so your upper and lower arms are at a 90 degree angle and your wrists are in a neutral position (no excessive bending up and down or flexing left and right).
16 Use a chair that supports your lower back and allows you to rest your feet comfortably on the floor. Make sure it is sturdy and secure, with no missing or broken casters or loose legs.
17 Make sure your work area has adequate lighting, is well-ventilated, and at a comfortable temperature.
18 Keep food and drinks at a safe distance away from any electronics and work files.
19 Keep first-aid supplies and emergency numbers near your work area.
20 Use proper lifting techniques when moving or lifting heavy equipment and furniture.
21 Report accidents and injuries you sustain while working to your manager immediately.

Telework Websites

Name Link Description
IRS Telework Portal https://organization.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/HCOWBEWEB/tele/tworkdbase/default.aspx Site designed to support teleworkers and their managers as they navigate through the IRS telework process. This is the primary resource for telework information.
Telework Mailbox Service-wide.telework.program.inquiries@irs.gov For direct contact with the Telework Program Office.
iManage Telework Site https://portal.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/iManage/ME/Lists/SystemsAndApplicationInformation_List/Item/displayifs.aspx?List=5945d333%2D9087%2D48a9%2Dafbc%2D65d348df27ed&ID=15&ContentTypeId=0x0100BEAC7AF9F890194EA3B66BE7CAF780A3 Specifically for managers of teleworkers. This site offers tools, guidance and resources to support managers as they learn about and sustain their telework experience with their employees.
OPM Regulations on Reporting to the POD twice a pay period. https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/pay-administration/fact-sheets/official-worksite-for-location-based-pay-purposes/ OPM explains why employees are required to report to their PODs twice a pay period. Also discusses the exemption criteria for mobile workers.
OPM’s Telework Site http://www.telework.gov/ Telework site for Federal Agencies. Gives high level information and guidance including supplemental training and resources.

Note:

Agency telework policies and requirements take precedence.

Guide to Telework in the Federal Government. http://www.telework.gov/guidance_and_legislation/telework_guide/telework_guide.pdf High level guidance provided by OPM to all Federal agencies. Agencies have the latitude to create policy based on this guidance in tandem with the agency mission.
Status of IRS Operations Decision Table http://hco.web.irs.gov/compbenefits/pdf/StatusofIRSOperationsDecisionTableBU-NBU06-30-2016.pdf Use this table to assist in understanding what actions should be taken during emergencies and what the options are for telework and leave.
Annual Telework Report to Congress http://www.telework.gov/reports_and_studies/annual_reports/index.aspx Read about the progress that Federal agencies are making with telework.
Federal Emergency Management Agency-Ready.gov www.ready.gov Go here to learn about emergency preparations.

Telework Training Resources

Listed below are required (mandatory), optional, and voluntary courses related to telework.

ELMS and OTHER AVAILABLE COURSES
Manager Curriculum ELMS course or other source Total Hours
IRS Telework Training for Managers (Required) 19413 1.0
IRS Telework Refresher Training for Managers (Optional) 61678 0.5
Virtual Telework Fundamentals Training Courses (Optional) (OPM/GSA) N/A
Telework and Performance Management Webcast Training Part 1 and Part 2 (Optional) (OPM/GSA) 1.0 each session
Results-Oriented Management (Optional) (OPM/GSA) 1.0
Telework 101 for Managers (Optional) (OPM/GSA) 1.0
Employee Curriculum ELMS course or other source Total Hours
IRS Telework Training for Employees (BU) (Required) 61633 1.0
IRS Telework Training for Employees (NBU) (Required) 19393 1.0
IRS Telework Refresher Training for Employees (BU) (Optional) 61676 0.5
IRS Telework Refresher Training for Employees (NBU) (Optional) 61668 0.5
Telework 101 for Employees (Optional) (OPM/GSA) 1.0
For All ELMS course or other source Total Hours
Telecommuting Basics: Maximizing Productivity as a Remote Employee (Optional) 29643 1.0
Telecommuting Basics: Communication Strategies for the Remote Employee (Optional) 29644 1.0
HR University for Human Capital Employees (Various Supplemental Courses) (Optional) HRU 1.0

Telework Related Policies

  1. National Agreement

  2. IRM 6.610.1, IRS Hours of Duty

  3. IRM 6.630.1, Absence and Leave

  4. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010

  5. Presidential Memorandum - Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs (June 23, 2014)