A. Title 5, United States Code authorizes Hours of duty. Public Law 95-390 authorized the Federal Employee Flexible and Compressed Work Schedules. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Human Capital Management has approved the following alternative work schedules for use throughout the Department: flexitour, 5-4/9 biweekly schedule, and 4-10 hour workweek.
B. In addition to the traditional tour of duty (ten 8-hour days), NRCS employees may use the alternative work schedules: flexitour, 5-4/9 biweekly schedule and the 4-10 hour workweek. Deputy Chiefs (DCs), Regional Assistant Chiefs (RACs), State Conservationists (STCs), National Headquarters (NHQ) Division Directors, National Center Directors, Directors, Pacific Islands and Caribbean Areas, and first line supervisors are authorized to approve or disapprove the use of the traditional, the flexitour, and the 5-4/9 work schedules in their areas. The 4 –10 hour workweek alternative work schedule may be used on a case-by-case basis when it is more advantageous to the Agency than the other work schedules upon the approval of the RACs, STCs, NHQ, National Center Directors, Directors, Pacific Islands and Caribbean Areas, upon the approval of the appropriate DCs, or the Associate Chief for positions directly under the Chief. Schedules that are not listed or discussed in this issuance are not to be utilized in NRCS.
C. Any combination of work schedules can be used in the same organization unit subject to supervisory approval. All employee work schedules are to be approved in writing by the supervisor. The use of any of these work schedules is subject to the provisions provided in this Part as well as any subsequent changes made by an appropriate official(s) as permitted. The scheduling of office hours and lunch breaks shall be determined by the employee and supervisor on the basis of office requirements and the rules and regulations specified in this and other pertinent regulations.
D. Supervisors have the authority to disapprove the use of any of the alternative work schedules if an employee’s use of the schedule is detrimental to the efficient operation of the office or if the schedule is being abused.
E. All work schedules except the intermittent schedule require an established tour of duty; i.e., beginning and ending time.
A. Administrative Workweek – A period of seven consecutive calendar days designated in advance. The administrative workweek in USDA is Sunday through Saturday.
B. Alternative Work Schedules (AWS) – Flexible work schedules and compressed work schedules.
C. Basic Workweek – The period for which an employee is paid a straight-time rate of pay. The basic workweek is 40 hours for full-time employees working ten 8-hour days per pay period.
D. Basic Work Requirement – The number of hours, excluding overtime hours, an employee is required to work in a day or account for by charging leave, credit hours, excused absence, holiday hours, compensatory time off, or time off as an award.
E. Compressed Work Schedule (CWS) – A work schedule that is always fixed. CWS means:
(1) In the case of a full-time employee, an 80 hour biweekly basic work requirement that is scheduled by an agency for less than 10 work days and that may require an employee to work more than 8 hours in a day; and
(2) In the case of a part- time employee, a basic work requirement of 32 to 64 hours per pay period that is scheduled by an agency for less than 10 workdays and that may require an employee to work more than 8 hours a day.
(3) NRCS has two (2) types of CWS: 5-4/9 biweekly schedule and 4-10 hour workweek:
(i) 5-4/9 biweekly schedule – A work schedule that is completed in less than 10 workdays and includes a 9-hour daily work requirement during 8 days of the biweekly pay period and 8 hours on a 9th day to complete the 80-hour biweekly work requirement. The 8-hour day can be any pre-scheduled workday in the pay period and must cover the core hours. The non-workday is also a pre-scheduled day.
(ii) 4-10 hour workweek – A type of work schedule that consists of a 10-hour daily work requirement 4 days per week, a 40-hour weekly work requirement, and an 80-hour biweekly work requirement.
F. Core Hours – Core hours are designated hours (9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) during which all full-time employees must be present during their normal tour of duty unless on approved leave or scheduled lunch period.
G. Credit hours – Those hours within a flexible work schedule that an employee elects to work in excess of his or her basic work requirement so as to vary the length of a workday or workweek. Employees on the traditional 40-hour per week schedule or either of the CWS(s) are not eligible to earn credit hours.
H. Flexible Work Schedules (FWS) – A work schedule that
(1) In the case of a fulltime employee, has an 80-hour biweekly basic work requirement that allows an employee to determine his or her own schedule within the limits set by the agency; and
(2) In the case of a part-time employee, has a biweekly basic work requirement of 32 to 64 hours that allows an employee to determine his or her own schedule within the limits set by the agency.
(3) NRCS has one (1) type of FWS: Flexitour
Flexitour schedule – A work schedule in which an employee is allowed to select starting and stopping times within the flexible hours. Employees must work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Once selected, the employee’s starting and stopping times are fixed until the work schedule is changed. Employees are allowed to vary their established starting and ending times up to 30 minutes with supervisory approval. When an employee varies his/her starting time up to 30 minutes after his/her designated starting time, the employee must make up the additional minutes at the end of their day or take approved leave. An employee is allowed to request a change in their flexitour hours up to 4 times per year.
I. Flexilunch – Employees may expand their lunch period within the established lunch band, (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.) with supervisory approval, and make up the additional time taken at the end of the day without charge to leave. Flexilunch is available only to those employees participating in the flexible work schedule. Flexilunch is not available to employees on CWS or the traditional 40-hour per week schedule.
J. In lieu of holidays – A day that is treated as a holiday for pay and leave purposes when a holiday falls on a non-workday outside of a full-time employee’s basic workweek. Part-time employees are not entitled to an “in lieu of holiday” if the actual holiday falls on a non-workday.
K. Intermittent Work Schedule – A type of work schedule that does not have a regularly scheduled tour of duty because the nature of the work is sporadic and unpredictable.
L. Official Hours – The hours when an office is open for business. This is normally 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
M. Time Band – 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
N. Traditional 40-hour workweek – A work schedule that:
(1) In the case of a full-time employee, has a 40-hour workweek, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day requirement.
(2) In the case of a part-time employee, has a basic workweek requirement of 16 to 32 hours per week. The employee’s scheduled workday is fixed and must be between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.