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Maxiflex Work Schedule: FAQs

Employee FAQs:

Do I need supervisory approval to participate?
Yes. Maxiflex, like all other work schedules, is subject to supervisory approval based on organizational work requirements such as duties of the position, office coverage, or participation in collaborative projects.

Employee participation is an employment benefit and not an entitlement. Bargaining unit employees may participate in Alternative Work Schedules only under the terms provided in a negotiated agreement.

Am I required to work in the office during core hours?
During core hours, employees must be working or on leave. This includes telework for employees who are on an approved telework agreement.

What is the best time to submit or update my timecard?
Employees are strongly encouraged to enter their projected hours of work on the Certify Timecard page in ITAS at the beginning of the pay period. That information can be updated as often as needed until the timecard is certified at the end of the pay period.

Can I certify a timecard prior to the end of the pay period?
Yes, a timecard can be certified at any time during the pay period. However, it is strongly recommended that you do not certify your timecard until the end of the pay period. Once a timecard has been certified, you can no longer make changes and must request assistance from your timekeeper.

How do I account for my meal period on Maxiflex?
An employee who works 8 or more hours is entitled to a 30-minute, unpaid meal period. If you are required to enter your start and stop times, ITAS will automatically deduct a meal period for you when you enter a total of 8 or more hours. For example, if you enter a start time of 8 a.m. and a stop time of 4:30 p.m. then ITAS will reflect 8 total hours worked. If you are taking an optional meal period when working less than 8 hours, you must reflect this by using a split in your schedule.

If you are only required to enter total hours worked without start and stop times, you must account for your meal period. For instance, on a day when you worked from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. you would enter 8 hours.

If you take longer than a 30 minute, unpaid meal period you must reflect this by using a split in your schedule. For instance, you would enter start time of 8 a.m. and stop time of 12 p.m. followed by another start time of 1:30 p.m. and stop time of 5:30 p.m. for a total of 8 hours worked.

Can I submit future leave requests?
Yes. When putting in future leave requests, you must enter the start and end times for the actual hours you want to take leave... for instance, 12/01/2020 from 8a to 2p (6 hours). You no longer have a set tour in the system, so ITAS doesn’t know how many hours of leave you plan to take unless you specify this information.

Can I submit multi-day leave requests?

You can submit multi-day leave requests that are within the same work week by entering the start/stop times and the appropriate range of dates... for instance, 12/01/2020 – 12/03/2020 from 8a to 2p will generate a leave request for 6 hours on each of these three dates.

Note that multiple weeks of leave should be entered as separate leave requests for each week (i.e. 11/30/2015 - 12/04/2015 and 12/07/2015 - 12/11/2015). A single request for leave from 11/30/2015 through 12/11/2015 would result in leave being requested for the weekend days in addition to the week days.

Can I submit future ad-hoc telework requests?
Yes. When putting in future ad-hoc telework requests, you must enter the actual hours you want to telework... for instance, on 12/02/2020 from 1pm to 5pm (4 hours). To request a full day of ad hoc telework, two requests must be entered in ITAS. The first request is before your meal period, and the second request is after … for instance, on 12/03/2020 from 8a to noon and 1pm to 5pm (8 hours). You no longer have a set tour in the system, so ITAS doesn’t know how many hours you will be working unless you specify this information.

When do I begin accumulating credit hours?
Once you have satisfied your tour of duty hours, if eligible. For a full-time employee, this means you cannot earn credit hours until you have 80 hours on your timecard. It is important to note that on rare occasions, credit hours may be recorded before 80 hours are recorded on your timecard. For instance, if you have core hours on Friday from 10 am – 12 pm but will be out of the office then you need to record two hours of leave for those two hours. If you work more than 78 hours by COB Thursday, you will need to record the additional hours as credit hours due to the two hours of leave taken to cover Friday’s core hours.

Under Maxiflex, am I entitled to night differential?
An employee is not entitled to night differential for voluntarily working flexible hours between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Maxiflex requires that I work or take leave for at least 2 hours if I am recording any hours on that day. What happens if I get to the end of the pay period and have between 78 and 80 total hours?
You have several options.
  • If there are several days left in the pay period, you can work additional hours. You will need to record any time beyond 80 hours as credit hours, if you are eligible.
  • You can extend your work day if you have not reached your IC/O’s total hours cap and are within flexible hours.
  • You can also take leave to reach 80 hours. It is best to record this leave on the last day you worked during the pay period. If you attempt to record less than 2 hours of leave on a day that doesn’t have additional regular hours, ITAS will present an error message.
Note: If you have core hours on remaining days in the pay period, you must work or be on leave during that time.

What do I do during inclement weather?
For Maxiflex-specific guidance on inclement weather, please review this document.

As an employee who works from an alternate time zone, how do I account for my hours of work and ensure I meet core hours?
Employees that work in an alternate time zone and are on a Maxiflex Work Schedule are expected to work (or take leave) during the core hours set by their organization, at the time they are occurring in their organization's time zone. They are expected to record their hours of work/leave using their organization’s time zone.

Ex. Mary’s organization is located on the East Coast, and uses Eastern Standard Time. Her organization has core hours on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mary lives on the West Coast, and uses Pacific Standard Time. Mary is expected to meet her organization’s core hours by working from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. When she completes her timecard in ITAS, she will use Eastern Standard Time and include her core hours of 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Timekeeper/Administrative Officer FAQs:

How do I set up an organization’s core hours?
Please review the Quick Reference Guide .pdf icon NIH Access Only on this topic. 

I tried switching an employee to the Maxiflex Work Schedule but received an error message. What happened?
Ensure that there are core hours established for the employee’s SAC. If not, establish core hours and then try again.

If the employee’s SAC does have core hours established, make sure the hours listed in the Biweekly Distribution of Biweekly Basic Work Requirements at the bottom of the Tour of Duty page have been cleared out prior to going to the employee’s timecard on the “Timecard” tab and clearing it out as well.

Leave Approving Official Role:

How do core hours impact an employee’s work schedule?
During core hours, an employee must be working or on leave. They can be working in the office or at an approved telework location, but they cannot be flexing their schedule to be off. This means that if an employee was previously on a Compressed Work Schedule in which they had Tuesdays off but they are now on Maxiflex and the office has core hours on Tuesdays, the employee must work or be on leave during those core hours.

How do core hours impact an employee’s leave?
Core hours impact an employees’ leave in several ways. Employees may find that they do not need to take as much leave on Maxiflex because they are able to work additional hours throughout the pay period. Conversely, an employee may not simply record one hour of leave on a day that they have a core hour from 10 am – 11 am. Because an employee must always work or take leave in 2 hour increments, they must take two hours of leave. If an employee will be out of the office for an extended period of time, i.e. a full week, a Leave Approving Official may request that the employee record 8 hours of leave per day.

Are employees on Maxiflex entitled to night differential?
If an employee voluntarily works before 6 a.m. or after 6 p.m. while on a Maxiflex Work Schedule, they are not entitled to night differential.
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