DEH HOME BASE POLICY Effective January 1, 2008 TABLE OF CONTENTS PROGRAM GUIDANCE I. Mission Statement II. Background III. Purpose IV. Benefits V. Scope VI. Policy VII. Responsibilities A. Employees B. Supervisors C. Approving Officials VIII. Guidelines A. Employee Participation B. Selection Criteria C. Position Criteria D. Home Base Agreements E. Position and Performance Issues F. Time and Attendance Issues G. Workers' Compensation H. Facilities Issues I. Communication and Equipment J. Other Issues IX. Termination and Transfer Issues Attachments: Tools and Guidance for Home Basing Employees and their Supervisors: 1. Request for Home Basing Employee 2. Property Accountability Form 3. Supervisor-Employee Check List 3. Home Base Agreement 4. Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist 5. Questions and Answers 6. Addressing Home Base Issues 1 DEH HOME BASE GUIDANCE I. MISSION STATEMENT To develop a home basing policy as a work option that can boost efficiency in the use of space, help protect human health and the environment, reduce resource use and increase employee productivity, efficiency and morale. Home Basing is consistent with sound business practices and will help the organization be more competitive in attracting talented and skilled employees. Home Basing should be viewed as a way to maintain and enhance internal and external customer service. II. BACKGROUND Home Basing is an innovative management program that provides employees the opportunity to perform their duties at alternate duty stations. Home Base refers to paid employment for work performed away from an organization's official duty station. Some background information about Home Base is provided below: 1. Home Base was introduced in North Carolina state agencies to promote time management; cost efficiency; environmental protection and to promote employee retention. 2. Under home based employment, an individual’s official duty station is their home. III. PURPOSE DEH’s Home Basing goal is to achieve optimal productivity, to achieve maximal effectiveness with state resources, to enhance the spirit, morale, and welfare of employees, and to provide leadership in promoting environmental quality. DEH must constantly strive to achieve high levels of performance and productivity in conducting its goal with the limited budgetary resources that are available. The creative application of new technology, new organizational configurations and human resources development are factors in evolving working arrangements that will contribute to higher productivity. The employees that DEH attracts, trains, retains, and rewards are essential to the productive conduct of our work. 2 DEH is expected to be a leader in employing new methods to protect human health, and the environment. DEH is responsible for the protection of human health and the environment statewide; therefore; required travel for field staff can help reduce air pollution associated with emissions by applying alternative duty station techniques. DEH can be a leader in demonstrating the time management, cost savings, and air quality benefits that accrue from home basing staff. Home basing staff can measurably improve productivity, employee welfare, and environmental leadership. IV. BENEFITS The Home Base environment provides a means of responding to rapidly changing factors that are impacting today's workforce - demographic, societal and technological - and has proven effective in reducing employee turnover and absenteeism, improving management techniques, and responding to sociological and environmental issues. Home Basing will make it possible to minimize the costs involved for the rental of office space. V. SCOPE This guidance will apply to all DEH Sections that agree to participate in the Home Base program and whose employees and supervisors complete a Home Base Agreement. Home Basing is considered a privilege and will not be suitable for every employee. VI. POLICY Generally, any occupation/job involving extensive travel and an assigned Region within the State can be considered for inclusion in the Home Base program. Using established criteria, management will decide whether a position and/or employee is eligible to participate in the Home Base program. In addition, supervisors may terminate the Home Base Agreement if, for example, the terms of the agreement are not met, the organization does not benefit from the home basing, or there is a job change. Termination of an agreement by management is not a grievable issue under the personnel policies. A Home Base Agreement must be completed for all participants. Reviews of the Home Base Agreement should be completed by the supervisor and the employee at implementation, after the first six months, and periodically throughout the duration of the program. Each organization may provide all equipment (subject to availability) within the parameters of governing laws, rules and regulations deemed necessary by the supervisor for work assignments. 3 4 VII. RESPONSIBILITIES A. EMPLOYEES participating will: 1. observe agreed-upon hours of work in accordance with standard work shifts with an eight-hour shift beginning no earlier than 7:00 am or ending no later than 6:00 pm; 2. observe policies of requesting leave when leave is to be taken; 3. use government issued equipment and assets only for official purposes; 4. complete the Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist, which identifies significant safety standards that must be met and return it to their supervisor prior to a Home Base Agreement being entered into; and 5. identify any concerns regarding the Home Base situation and outline strategies for addressing these concerns and maintaining internal and external customer service. B. SUPERVISORS will: 1. determine which employees will participate in the program; typically done when position is posted 2. establish a frequency of reporting (minimum monthly) at which the employee will update the supervisor with a periodic summary of work accomplished; 3. complete the Supervisor-Employee Check List and discuss the items covered on this list with the employee prior to initiating the Home Base Agreement; and 4. identify any concerns regarding the Home Base situation and outline strategies for addressing these concerns and maintaining internal and external customer service. C. APPROVING OFFICIALS will evaluate the impact of the program on the efficiency and effectiveness of work operations within their organization. The approving official is the Division Director or designee. VIII. GUIDELINES A. EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION. The program is targeted to employees whose duties could be performed away the Raleigh Central Office. Participation is a privilege, with prior Departmental approval. Departmental approval is required through the completion and approval of the Request for Home Basing Employee form. Once the Request for Home Basing Employee form has been approved. The employee and supervisor will need to 4 complete the Home Base Agreement form, the DEH Home Base Supervisor-Employee Checklist, and the Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist. B. SELECTION CRITERIA. Selection of participants for this program is a key activity from both individual and organizational standpoints. The criteria used to select participants will depend upon a number of interrelated issues namely: 1. The Employee a. the employee's responsibilities to the public or clientele can be better served by being located at home, which should be central to the employee’s region(s) of responsibility; b. the employee has clearly defined performance standards and measurements; c. the employee is willing to sign and abide by a written Home Base Agreement; e. the employee must be able to provide an adequate work location with sufficient space for all necessary office furniture and equipment without undue interference which could impair productivity; f. the employee is highly motivated; h. the employee can deal with isolation; and i. the employee has good time management skills. 2. The Supervisor a. The supervisor should be supportive and willing to work through any problems or obstacles that may occur; b. the supervisor should be comfortable with evaluating work performance in a manner compatible with Home Base conditions, measuring performance by results and without direct observation; and c. the supervisor should be an effective communicator and must be able to clearly define tasks and expectations. D. HOME BASE AGREEMENTS. Each employee must sign a Home Base Agreement that covers the terms and conditions of the Home Base program. The Home Base Agreement constitutes an agreement between the employee and supervisor to adhere to applicable guidelines and policies. The Home Base Agreement covers items such as: hours and days of duty; responsibilities for timekeeping, leave approval and requests for overtime 5 and compensatory time; performance requirements; proper use and safeguards of government property and record; and standards of conduct. E. POSITION AND PERFORMANCE ISSUES Position Descriptions. Position descriptions should reflect the Home Base arrangement. All Home Based positions must be approved for home basing by the Division Director, DENR Budget Director, and DENR Deputy Secretary through the Request for Home Basing Employee form. F. TIME AND ATTENDANCE ISSUES 1. Hours of Duty. Employees must work standard schedules or follow alternative work schedules depending upon the agreement between the employee and the supervisor. Completely unstructured arrangements where employees work at home at will are not permitted. Normal work hours, including a non-paid lunch period of at least 30 minutes, as follows: Five 8-hour days, Monday through Friday, on one of the standard shifts. Scheduled hours of duty should fall within Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (DENR's) policy for standard working hours. 2. Leave. The policies for requesting annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay remain unchanged. Employees are responsible for requesting leave in advance from the supervisor. 3. Certification and Control of Time and Attendance. Proper monitoring and certification of employee work time is critical. Supervisors must report time and attendance to ensure that employees are paid only for work performed and the absences from scheduled work hours are accounted. DEH's policy for certification of time and attendance requires supervisors with employees working from home provide reasonable assurance that they are working when scheduled. Reasonable assurance may include occasional supervisory telephone calls, occasional visits by the supervisor to the employee's work site, and determining reasonableness of output for the time spent. 4. Administrative Leave, Dismissals, Emergency Closings. Although a variety of circumstances may affect individual situations, the principles governing administrative leave, dismissals, and closings remain unchanged. The ability to conduct work, whether at home or at the office, determines when an employee may be excused from duty. 6 G. WORKER'S COMPENSATION. Since the employee’s home office is an extension of the agency workplace, the State’s liability for job related accidents will continue to exist during the employee’s approved work hours at the employee’s home office location. All accidents/injuries sustained at the employee’s home office site during duty hours must be reported immediately to the employee's supervisor and the Division’s Human Resources Officer. Prior to an employee being home based, employees must complete the Employee Self- Certification Safety Checklist which identifies significant safety standards that should be met. If the employee reports an accident/injury as a result of Home Base activities, then the employer will investigate the conditions leading to the accident and may conduct a site safety inspection, if the employer deems it necessary to complete the investigation. H. FACILITIES ISSUES 1. Home Office. Employees participating in the Home Base program must have a designated office space for performance of their duties. 2. Home Office Utility Expenses. DEH will pay for the home based employee’s business phone, internet connection and state issued cell phone. DEH will not pay for any other utility costs associated with working at home. 3. Work-Related Expenses. Costs associated with the copying of work-related materials, fax charges, express mail, etc. will be paid or reimbursed by DEH. Office supplies provided by the State should be obtained during periodic trips to the Raleigh Central Office. Out-of-pocket expenses for supplies normally available in the office will not be reimbursed unless a justifiable emergency situation arises. I. COMMUNICATION AND EQUIPMENT 1. Telephone Coverage. The Division usually provides a business phone line and a business cell phone for home based employees. This provides connectivity for business purposes only during work hours and should not be used for personal use. The Division has a State assigned cell phone policy that is to be signed by the employee or a Personal cell phone reimbursement agreement, if the employee chooses to utilize their personal cell phone in lieu of a state assigned cell phone. 2. Other Internal Communication: A employee will provide his or her work hours to his or her supervisor which will be provided to the Division. Employees should use the “DEH Web Calendar” to indicate their daily schedules so that all staff can have access to their schedules. 7 3. DEH Property and Equipment. DEH does provide equipment for home based employees if there is a need. State owned equipment such as laptop computers, desks, work stations, file cabinets, shelves or bookcases should be inventoried and that information maintained on file for each employee. Strict adherence to regulations concerning the safeguarding of equipment is essential. Prior approval must be obtained from the employee's supervisor before any property is removed from the home office. Any property should be surplused if out dated following state regulations and guidelines for surplus property. 4. Technical Support: Information Technology (computer) technical support for Home Based staff shall be provided by the Division IT staff. This may include trips to the Raleigh Central Office with appointments scheduled for IT staff to handle repairs or problems with computers. 5. Internet Service Provider: Home Based staff will need to purchase an internet service provider service for their home office use which will be reimbursed by the Division. However, if using the same connection for personal use the agency will reimburse only 50% of the total costs. If a separate business connection is installed for strictly business use, the agency will reimburse the employee for costs to install or maintain additional telephone lines, internet service provider and/or telecommunications equipment. The reimbursement for installation will be offered only on the initial installation. If the employee chooses to move residences, the cost of installation for any moves will revert to the employee. J. OTHER ISSUES 1. Privacy Act, Sensitive or Classified Data. Decisions regarding the proper use and handling of classified and sensitive data, as well as records subject to the Privacy Act, are delegated to individual supervisors who permit their employees to Home Base. 2. Liability. Advice and assistance regarding injury and property loss involving legal claims or liabilities should be referred to the Division’s safety officer, employee's supervisor or Division Human Resources Officer. 3. Tax Benefits. Generally, expenses are allowed for home office space as long as it is used exclusively as a principle place of business. However, do not claim any expenses that the Division is paying (i.e. telephone, internet, furniture, etc.) Employees who believe they may be entitled to tax deductions should consult their tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service for information on tax laws and interpretations. 8 IX. TERMINATION AND TRANSFER ISSUES A. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION When a Home Base employee decides to terminate and resign his/her position, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to ensure that all services paid for by the Division are terminated immediately and that all equipment and /or furniture is returned to the Division for reassignment. 9 POLICY ATTACHMENTS: TOOLS AND GUIDANCE FOR HOME BASING EMPLOYEES AND THEIR SUPERVISORS Attachments: 1. Request for Home Basing Employee 2. Property Accountability Form 3. Supervisor-Employee Check List 4. Home Base Agreement 4. Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist Questions and Answers Addressing Home Basing Issues 10 DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH REQUEST FOR HOMEBASING EMPLOYEE SECTION: ________________________________ EMPLOYEE’S NAME: _____________________ JOB CLASSIFICATION: ________________________ POSITION NUMBER: ______________________ COST CENTER: ________________________ PHYSICAL LOCATION OF EMPLOYEE: Street Address:__________________________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: _______ Zip Code: __________County:_______ SUPERVISOR OF EMPLOYEE: ________________________________________________ J USTIF ICATION: (in c lu d e re a so n s a n d c o st sa vin g s re c o g n ize d ) APPROVAL S: SECTION CHIEF:__________________________________________ DATE:____________________ DIVISION DIRECTOR:______________________________________ DATE:____________________ DENR BUDGET DIRECTOR:_________________________________ DATE:____________________ DENR DEPUTY SECRETARY:________________________________ DATE:____________________ 11 PROPERTY ACCOUNTABILITY FORM FOR HOME BASED EMPLOYEES NC DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH The following property/fixed assets have been transferred from ___________________________ To the home of _____________________________________________________at____________ All items issued to the employee should be listed on this form (i.e. desk, chair, credenza, printer, file cabinet, computer, calculator) for the purpose of maintaining accountability of state property. DESCRIPTION OF ITEM(S) Fixed Asset Number (If Applicable) I understand that upon my separation from DENR/DEH I am responsible for seeing that all the above listed items are returned to the Division of Environmental Health as instructed by my Supervisor. EMPLOYEE:_____________________________ SECTION CHIEF:____________________ DIVISION DIRECTOR:________________________ DATE:______________________________ 12 DEH HOME BASE SUPERVISOR-EMPLOYEE CHECKLIST The following checklist is designed to ensure that your Home Based employee is properly oriented to the policies and procedures of the program. Questions 4, 5 and 6 may not be applicable to your Home Based employee. If this is the case, simply state not-applicable or N/A. NAME OF HOME BASED EMPLOYEE: __________________________________________________ NAME OF IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR: __________________________________________________ Date Completed 1. Employee has read DEH Home Base guidance outlining policies and procedures of the program. _______________ 2. Employee has been provided with a schedule of duty hours and location. _______________ 3. Employee has been issued/has not been issued equipment. _______________ 4. Equipment issued by DEH is Documented on the Property Accountability Form. _______________ Check as applicable: Yes No computer ___ ___ modem ___ ___ furniture ___ ___ printer ___ ___ other ___ ___ 5. Policies and procedures for care of equipment issued by DEH have been explained and are clearly understood. _______________ 13 6. Policies and procedures covering classified, secure or privacy act data have been discussed and are clearly understood. _______________ 7. Requirements for an adequate and safe Home office have been discussed and are understood. (See completed Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist) _______________ 8. Performance expectations have been discussed and are clearly understood. _______________ ____________________________________ _____________________ Employee Signature Date ___________________________________ _____________________ Immediate Supervisor Signature Date ___________________________________ ______________________ Division Approval Date 14 DEH HOME BASE AGREEMENT The following constitutes an agreement between: (Supervisor) ______________________ (Employee)_____________________ of the terms and conditions of being Home Based: 1. Employee agrees to adhere to the applicable guidelines and policies. Supervisor agrees to adhere to the applicable guidelines and policies. 2. Employee's official work hours are as listed below: Day Hours From To Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 4. Altering Home Base Schedule: Management reserves the right to alter the employee's established work schedule to accommodate peak workload, with advance notification. 2. Home Duty Station: Employee's official duty station is __________ ______________________________________. All pay, special salary rates, leave and travel entitlement will generally be based on the employee's home duty station. 6. Communicating Home Base Schedule: A copy of the employees Home Base schedule will be provided to the employee's supervisor, the employee's secretary and the Division to communicate the employee’s availability to co-workers . Employee's time and attendance will be recorded 15 on DENR's monthly time sheet. Employee's supervisor will certify time and attendance for hours worked. 7. Approval of Leave: Employee must obtain supervisory approval before taking leave in accordance with established office procedures. By signing this agreement employee agrees to follow established procedures for requesting and obtaining approval of leave. 8. Approval of Overtime: Employee will continue to work in existing pay status while working at his/her home duty station. An employee who works overtime, that has been ordered and approved in advance, will be compensated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. By signing this agreement, employee agrees to obtain proper approval for overtime work. Failure to adhere to proper approval for overtime work may result in the employee's removal from being home based or other appropriate action. 9. Equipment: An employee authorized to use DEH equipment will protect the equipment in accordance with State and Division procedures. An employee who provides his/her own equipment is responsible for installing, servicing and maintaining it at their own expense. 10. Inspection of DEH Equipment: The employee agrees to permit periodic inspections by DEH of the home office to ensure proper maintenance of Division equipment and compliance with safety standards. The inspection will be performed during the employees normal working hours and the employee will be given at least 24 hours advance notice. 11. Employee Property: DEH is not liable for damages to an employee's personal or real property during the course of performance of official duties or while using DEH equipment in the employee’s home office. 12. Operating Costs: DEH is not responsible for home maintenance costs or any other incidental costs not directly associated with state business at the employee's home office. 13. Program Related Expenses: An employee working under an approved Home Base Agreement will have a business telephone line and cell phone provided for business-related long distance and locals calls. Cost associated with the copying of work-related materials, fax charges, express mail, etc. will be reimbursed by DEH. 16 14. Worker's Compensation: Employee is covered under the Worker's Compensation Act if injured in the course of actually performing official duties at the official duty station. Any accident or injury occurring at the alternate duty station must be brought to the immediate attention of the supervisor and the safety officer. The supervisor must investigate all reports immediately following notification of an employee related accident. Employees must complete the Employee Self-Certification Safety Checklist, which identifies significant safety standards that should be met and returned to their supervisor and a copy provided to the Division’s Safety Officer and/or Human Resources Officer prior to a Home Base Agreement being entered into. 15. Tracking of Completed Work: Employee will communicate with the supervisor to receive assignments and have completed work reviewed in accordance with the supervisor's instructions. 16. Completion of Work Assignments: Employee will complete all assigned work in accordance with the supervisor's instructions. 17. Returning Telephone Calls: Employees and their supervisor shall determine the process by which the employee shall receive phone calls, check voice mail and return phone calls. Employees who Home Base must be willing to give appropriate office staff and frequent work contacts their home office or cell phone number. They must be easily accessible and must return telephone calls within ________ hours. 18. Job Performance: Supervisor will evaluate employee's job performance against performance standards and measures established in the employee's performance management work plan. The agreement will be amended to reflect employee’s Home Based status. 19. Progress Reporting: Regular and required progress reporting by the employee will be used by the supervisor as part of his/her assessment of employee's job performance. 20. Management May Terminate Home Base: Management may suspend or terminate an employee's Home Base status if performance standards and measurements are not met, the employee does not abide by the Home Base Agreement, or it no longer benefits the organization to have the employee Home Based. 17 21. Performance of Job Duties: Employee agrees to perform his/her officially assigned duties at their home office. Failure to comply with this provision may result in charge of leave, loss of pay, termination of participation in the program, or disciplinary action as warranted, based on the situation. 22. Personal Business: Employee agrees not to conduct unauthorized personal business while in work status at their home office. 23. Supervisor-Employee Check List: Supervisor must complete the Supervisor-Employee Check List and discuss the items covered on this list with the employee prior to initiating a Home Base Agreement. 24. Existing Policies Governing Schedule Change: This agreement does not restrict the employee's right to change schedules in accordance with existing policies. If a permanent change of schedule is approved, the schedule on Page 1 of this agreement will be changed accordingly and initialed by both employee and supervisor. __________________________________ _______________________ Employee Date __________________________________ _______________________ Supervisor Date __________________________________ _______________________ Division Date 18 DEH HOME BASE EMPLOYEE SELF-CERTIFICATION SAFETY CHECKLIST NAME:_________________________ DIV/SEC:_______________________ OFFICE TEL # _________________ HOME TEL # ____________________ SUPERVISOR ___________________ The following checklist is designed to assess the overall safety of the home office. Each participant must read and complete the self-certification safety checklist. Upon completion the checklist should be signed and dated by the participating employee and immediate supervisor. The home office is ___________________________. Describe the designated work area in the home office. _________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________ 1. Is the space free of asbestos containing Yes ___ No ___ materials? 2. If asbestos containing material is present, Yes ___ No ___ is it undamaged and in good condition? * Only check if applicable * 3. Is the space free of indoor air quality Yes ___ No ___ problems? 4. Is the space free of noise hazards (in Yes ___ No ___ excess of 85 decibels)? 5. Is there a potable (drinkable) water Yes ___ No ___ supply? 19 6. Is adequate ventilation present for the Yes ___ No ___ desired occupancy? 7. Are lavatories available with hot and Yes ___ No ___ cold running water? 8. Are all stairways with 4 or more steps Yes ___ No ___ equipped with handrails? N/A ___ 9. Are all circuit breakers and/or fuses in Yes ___ No ___ the electrical panel labeled as to intended service? 10. Do circuit breakers clearly indicate if Yes ___ No ___ they are in the open or closed position? 11. Is all electrical equipment free of Yes ___ No ___ recognized hazards that would cause physical harm (frayed wires, bare conductors, loose wires, flexible wires running through walls, exposed wires fixed to the ceiling)? 12. Will the building's electrical system Yes ___ No ___ permit the grounding of electrical equipment? 13. Are aisles, doorways and corners free of Yes ___ No ___ obstructions to permit visibility and movement? 14. Are file cabinets and storage closets Yes ___ No ___ arranged so drawers and doors do not open into walkways? 15. Are the rungs and legs of chairs sturdy? Yes ___ No ___ 16. Are the phone lines, electrical cords, Yes ___ No ___ and extension wires secured under a desk or alongside a baseboard? 20 17. Is the office space neat, clean and free Yes ___ No ___ of excessive amounts of combustibles? 18. Are floor surfaces clean, dry, level Yes ___ No ___ and free of worn or frayed seams? ____________________________________ _____________________ Employee Signature Date ___________________________________ _____________________ Immediate Supervisor Signature Date Special note: Supervisors are encouraged to conduct an on-site inspection for any employee checking five or more no answers. Employees are responsible for informing their supervisor of any significant change. 21 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS EXPLANATION OF HOME BASE 1. WHAT IS HOME BASE? Home Base means that an individual’s official duty station is their home. Under Home Base, the individual’s official duty station remains unchanged. 2. WHAT TYPES OF JOBS ARE ADAPTABLE TO A HOME BASE PROGRAM? Reading/processing tasks (evaluating proposals and reports, conducting research) Field staff; staff that travel frequently to various business locations to accomplish their job responsibilities. (i.e. environmental health specialists, inspectors of varying types) 3. WHY SHOULD DEH HAVE HOME BASING? Home Basing reduces space requirements and associated costs; aids in the reduction of air pollution; targets labor markets such as inspectors; increases ability to attract and retain employees in critical occupations and positions; and reduces commuter traffic and parking congestion. 4. IF I WORK AT HOME CAN I PROVIDE ALL OF MY OWN CHILD CARE OR ELDER CARE SERVICES? Home Base arrangements can provide valuable assistance in the management of work/family schedules, but it is not a substitute for child/elder care. Based on experience in both the private and public sector, the care of young children is likely to disrupt work. Home Base employees must have appropriate child/elder care available away from the home. 22 8. IS THERE A DOCUMENT THAT CLARIFIES EMPLOYEE AND MANAGEMENT ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN HOME BASE? Home Base supervisors and employees will sign work agreements to ensure they fully comprehend what is expected. BENEFITS 1. SPECIFICALLY, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A HOME BASE PROGRAM? Typical benefits are: Management Benefits Reduction in Office space requirements, parking facilities and transportation costs. Increased productivity. Decline of absenteeism. Attraction and retention of skilled employees and reduction in employee turnover rates. Expands labor pool, provides access to disabled. Improvements in employee effectiveness and morale. Provides forward-looking management image. Employee Benefits Increased productivity. Improvement of communications between supervisor and employee. Reduced commuting time and travel for business related trips. 23 Increased flexibility to coordinate work schedules with personal and family priorities. Reduction in costs for transportation and food. Societal Benefits Reduction in commute trips and traffic congestion; Reduction in air pollution and conservation of transportation fuels (energy conservation); Improved employment opportunities for the disabled and mobility-restricted; and Reduced needs for more roads or mass transit. . 24 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND POSITION DESCRIPTIONS IS MANAGING A HOME BASE EMPLOYEE DIFFERENT THAT AN OFFICE- BOUND WORKER? The performance plan should be similar to the office-bound worker. Managers of Home Based employees must be able to communicate well with their employees and measure performance by results (not just observation). Actual work performance should be measurable against quantity or quality norms in order that managers may certify time and attendance records. TIME AND ATTENDANCE 1. ARE FLEXTIME SCHEDULES PERMISSIBLE UNDER HOME BASE? Yes, as defined in DEH's flex time policy. Flextime should be indicated on the Home Base Agreement when indicating hours or work each day. 2. SHOULD A SPECIFIC SCHEDULE BE SET FOR HOME BASE WORKING? Yes. The schedule will be set by the supervisor and the employee in the Home Base Agreement. 3. ARE THERE ANY FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT (FLSA) CONSIDERATIONS UNIQUE TO HOME BASED EMPLOYEES? No. 4. CAN AN EMPLOYEE EXTEND WORK HOURS TO ACCRUE RELIGIOUS COMPENSATORY TIME? Yes, if there is needed work to be done and the employee requests supervisory approval first 5. SINCE AN EMPLOYEE IS ALREADY AT HOME, DO THEY STILL NEED TO APPLY FOR LEAVE IN THE SAME MANNER? Yes. The rules and procedures for leave administration apply the same regardless of the work site. 6. IS REPORTING TIME AND ATTENDANCE HANDLED ANY DIFFERENTLY? No. The only requirement is that employees complete a monthly time sheet and turn it in to their supervisor. 7. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE EMPLOYEE IS UNABLE TO PERFORM IN THE HOME DUTY STATION? The Home Base arrangement should be terminated and other arrangements should be made. If the position requires home basing, then disciplinary actions should be taken to address issues. LIABILITY AND WORKERS' COMPENSATION WHAT ABOUT LIABILITY FOR INJURIES AT HOME? HOW CAN A SUPERVISOR CERTIFY AN EMPLOYEE'S CLAIM FOR INJURY? Any DEH exposure to liability would be covered under the Workers' Compensation Act (workers' compensation). The Supervisor's signature on the request for compensation attests only to what the supervisor can reasonably know, whether the event occurred at an official duty station or at an alternative work site during official duty. Employees, in all situations, bear responsibility for informing their immediate supervisor and safety officer of an injury at the earliest time possible. It is also essential for a supervisor to require the employee to designate one area in the home as the official home office. DEH's potential exposure to liability would then be restricted to that one area. FACILITIES HOW DO SUPERVISORS ENSURE THAT THE ALTERNATE WORK STATION ARRANGEMENT IS SAFE? Each participating employee should sign a Self-Certification Safety Checklist that proclaims the home office safe. The employee is responsible for ensuring that his/her home office complies with acceptable health and safety requirements. The supervisor may also have the home office inspected for compliance with safety requirements when deemed appropriate.
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