Click here to skip navigation

Telework Guidance

Pay, Leave, & Work Schedules

Certain location-based pay entitlements (such as locality payments, special rate supplements, and nonforeign area cost-of-living allowances) are based on the location of the employee's official worksite associated with the employee's position of record. The official worksite generally is the location where the employee regularly performs his/her duties.  

An agency must determine and designate the official worksite for a teleworking employee on a case-by-case basis using the following criteria:

  • The official worksite for an employee covered by a telework agreement is the location of the regular worksite for the employee's position (e.g., the place where the employee would normally work absent a telework agreement), as long as the employee is scheduled to report physically at least twice each bi-weekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis to that regular worksite.
  • In the case of a telework employee whose work location varies on a recurring basis, the employee need not report at least twice each bi-weekly pay period to the regular worksite established by the agency as long as the employee is performing work within the same geographic area (established for the purpose of a given pay entitlement) as the employee's regular worksite.  For example, if a telework employee with a varying work location works at least twice each bi-weekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis in the same locality pay area in which the established official worksite is located, the employee need not report at least twice each bi-weekly pay period to that official worksite to maintain entitlement to the locality payment for that area.
  • The official worksite for an employee with a telework agreement who is not scheduled to report at least twice each bi-weekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis to the regular worksite is the location of the telework site (e.g., home or other alternative worksite), except in certain temporary situations.

Pay During Temporary Telework Arrangements

In certain temporary situations, an agency may designate the location of the regular worksite as the official worksite of an employee who teleworks on a regular basis at an alternative worksite, even though the employee is not able to report at least twice each bi-weekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis to the regular worksite.

  • The intent of this exception is to address certain situations where the employee is retaining a residence in the commuting area for the regular worksite but is temporarily unable to report to the regular worksite for reasons beyond the employee's control.
  • A key consideration is the need to preserve equity between the telework employee and non-telework employees who are working in the same area as the telework location. Also, the temporary exception should generally be used only in cases where (1) the employee is expected to stop teleworking and return to work at the regular worksite in the near future, or (2) the employee is expected to continue teleworking but will be able to report to the regular worksite at least twice each bi-weekly pay period on a regular and recurring basis in the near future.

For more information on official worksite, please see OPM's Fact Sheet on Official Worksite for Location-Based Pay Purposes.

Back to top

Premium Pay

Typically, the same premium pay rules apply to employees who telework as to those employees who report to their regular worksites.

Night Pay

Night pay is a 10 percent differential paid to employees for regularly scheduled work performed at night. It is computed as a percentage of the employee's rate of basic pay (including any applicable locality payment or special rate supplement).  A teleworker may not earn night pay by choosing to work at night. Night pay is paid for regularly scheduled work performed at night. This generally means work scheduled before the beginning of the administrative workweek.  However, night pay is also paid for night work on a temporary assignment to a different daily tour of duty during the administrative work week.

For more information on night pay, please see OPM's Fact Sheet on Night Pay for General Schedule Employees.

Sunday Premium Pay

An employee is entitled to 25 percent of his/her rate of basic pay for work performed during a regularly scheduled basic 8-hour tour of duty that begins or ends on a Sunday (emphasis added). A teleworker must be regularly scheduled to work on a Sunday in order for that employee to be eligible for the 25 percent Sunday premium pay.

For more information, see OPM's Fact Sheet on Sunday Premium Pay.

Back to top

Evacuation Payments

Evacuation payments are made to employees or their dependents, or both, who are ordered to be evacuated from or within the United States and certain non-foreign areas in the national interest because of natural disasters or for military or other reasons that create imminent danger to the lives of the employees, their immediate family, or their dependents. The applicable non-foreign areas are listed in the definition of "United States area" in 5 CFR 550.402. Evacuation payments may be made to dependents 16 years of age or older, or to designated representatives, only with prior written authorization from the employee.

When an employee has been ordered to evacuate, agency heads may make advance payments of pay, allowances, and differentials to cover a time period of up to 30 calendar days, provided the agency head or designated official determines the payment is required to defray immediate expenses incidental to the evacuation. The initial evacuation payment may cover up to 60 days of pay, allowances, and differentials, including the period covered by the advance payment.

Evacuation payments may be made to cover a total of up to 180 calendar days (including the number of days for which payment has already been made) when employees continue to be prevented from performing their duties by an evacuation order. When feasible, evacuation payments must be paid on the employee's regular pay days.

Employees in an Executive agency may also receive additional allowance payments for travel expenses and subsistence expenses (e.g., per diem) to offset added expenses they incur as a result of their evacuation or the evacuation of their dependents. (See 5 CFR 550.405.)

For more information on evacuation payments, please see OPM's Fact Sheet on Evacuation Pay.

Back to top

Leave and Work Schedules

An employee must follow his/her agency's telework policy for requesting leave and work scheduling changes when teleworking.

Just as an employee would do when he/she is at the regular worksite, an employee who is teleworking may request leave for a portion of the day. Agencies may also allow an employee to adjust his/her work schedule during a telework day (e.g., to attend a medical appointment or deal with a household repair) based on the employee's telework agreement.  Both leave and work scheduling flexibilities are not only to assist the employee in balancing his/her personal needs, but also to maintain productivity by allowing the employee to request to work around disruption in his/her work day. For additional information, please visit OPM's Leave Administration & OPM's Work Schedules.

Back to top