Apr 28, 2020

Update: Time Reporting Guidance for Executive Branch


The following guidance is in effect starting April 26, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 18, 2020. This communication extends the previous end date of May 4, 2020 and includes enhancements in the guidance and Q&A’s to clarify and update based on our experience during this challenging period. Acknowledging that specific steps in returning additional staff to the workplace will be subject to multiple factors, this guidance will likely be revisited for extension, revision or rescission.
  • HRD is extending the previously announced expanded scope of telework (also known as telecommuting or work from home) to respond to COVID-19 for employees performing non-core functions:
    • Telework will be defined as performing regular work functions or alternative work assignments provided by managers at a place other than the regular assigned work location (typically, at home).
    • Employees will be considered to be teleworking if they are using state-issued computers or personal devices that comply with the EOTSS acceptable use policy to accomplish either their regular work functions or alternative work assignments provided by managers. Visit the page on Remote Access Technology FAQs for more information on personal device technology requirements. 
  • Agencies and managers are expected to make their best efforts to provide employees with the required technology to perform their regular work functions from home. In the absence of the required technology, agencies and managers are expected to provide employees with alternative work assignments that can be completed from home with employees’ current state-issued technology or with employees’ personal devices that comply with the EOTSS acceptable use policy.
  • HRD is also extending the previously announced waivers of the following provisions of the Executive Department Telework Policy for employees performing core and non-core functions:
    • Prohibition on providing dependent or adult care while working from home (teleworking)
    • Requirement for secretariats or agencies to establish a Secretariat or Agency Telework Program for the administration of the Executive Department Telework Policy
    • Requirement for managers/supervisors and employees to enter into a formal, written telework agreement with their agency and to provide that agreement to agency HR
  • HRD is issuing Version 3 of the Timesheet Question and Answer (Q&A) document. Version 3 supersedes the Timesheet Question and Answer (Q&A) document provided on March 31, 2020. Please read Version 3 of the Q&A carefully, distribute to your employees, and ensure that they have followed the guidance when you approve their submitted timesheets. Version 3 of the Q&A is provided through a link at bottom of this email. Time should be recorded consistent with Version 3 effective April 26, 2020.
  • HRD is continuing to provide agencies the ability to advance sick or vacation leave as needed to employees who do not have available sick or vacation time and need to use these leaves for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. Employees who are advanced sick or vacation leave will have sick or vacation leave reduced as it is accrued until the advancement is paid back in full. Contact agency HR for more information.
  • Employees that have been required to report to work and need alternative childcare arrangements are encouraged to review the list of Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs that have been established across Massachusetts under the direction of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). For more information on this program or on reserving space with a provider, please visit the following EEC website: https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure
  • We anticipate that some employees may encounter difficulties entering their time. Please reach out to your employees and reinforce the importance of reporting time diligently. The deadline for reporting time is each Thursday at 5pm. Please share the following Employee Self Service page with your employees so that they have it ready and available to enter their time: https://www.mass.gov/employee-self-service ·     Likewise, if you have direct reports, please ensure that you approve their time promptly. The deadline for approving time is each Friday at noon.
  • As a last resort, if an employee is unable to enter their time for a given week, please enter their time on their behalf. For subsequent weeks, please help the employee access Employee Self Service (HR/CMS) and ensure they follow the regular process for entering time.
  • ​For additional information on telework, Employee Self Service, and the emergency childcare programs, please visit the following links. These webpages will be updated on a regular basis with the latest guidance and additional resources:
 
We appreciate your diligence in following these special procedures. Please reach out to your agency’s HR department for any further information you may need.
 
March 31, 2020

The following provides guidance from HRD to Executive Department agencies regarding special workforce procedures to be followed during the State of Emergency to respond to COVID-19. 

Dear managers,
 
The following guidance is in effect starting March 29, 2020 and will remain in effect until May 4, 2020. This end date aligns with Governor Baker’s announcement on March 25 of the extension of school and non-emergency childcare program closures through May 4. On or before May 4, this guidance will be revisited for extension, revision or rescission.
 
·     HRD is extending the previously announced expanded scope of telework (also known as telecommuting or work from home) to respond to COVID-19 for employees performing non-core functions:
 
·     Telework will be defined as performing regular work functions or alternative work assignments provided by managers at a place other than the regular assigned work location (typically, at home).
 
·     Employees will be considered to be teleworking if they are using state-issued computers or personal devices that comply with the EOTSS acceptable use policy to accomplish either their regular work functions or alternative work assignments provided by managers. Visit the page on Remote Access Technology FAQs for more information on personal device technology requirements.
·     Agencies and managers are expected to make their best efforts to provide employees with the required technology to perform their regular work functions from home. In the absence of the required technology, agencies and managers are expected to provide employees with alternative work assignments that can be completed from home with employees’ current state-issued technology or with employees’ personal devices that comply with the EOTSS acceptable use policy.
·     HRD is also extending the previously announced waivers of the following provisions of the Executive Department Telework Policy for employees performing core and non-core functions:

·     Prohibition on providing dependent or adult care while working from home (teleworking)
 
·     Requirement for secretariats or agencies to establish a Secretariat or Agency Telework Program for the administration of the Executive Department Telework Policy
 
·     Requirement for managers/supervisors and employees to enter into a formal, written telework agreement with their agency and to provide that agreement to agency HR
·     HRD is issuing Version 2 of the Timesheet Question and Answer (Q&A) document. Version 2 supersedes the Timesheet Question and Answer (Q&A) document provided on March 19, 2020. Please read Version 2 of the Q&A carefully, distribute to your employees, and ensure that they have followed the guidance when you approve their submitted timesheets. Version 2 of the Q&A is provided through link at bottom of this email.
 
·     HRD is continuing to provide agencies the ability to advance sick or vacation leave as needed to employees who do not have available sick or vacation time and need to use these leaves for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. Employees whrdho are advanced sick or vacation leave will have sick or vacation leave reduced as it is accrued until the advancement is paid back in full. Contact agency HR for more information.
 
·     Employees that have been required to report to work and need alternative childcare arrangements are encouraged to review the list of Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs that have been established across Massachusetts under the direction of the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC). For more information on this program or on reserving space with a provider, please visit the following EEC website: https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure
 
·     We anticipate that some employees may encounter difficulties entering their time. Please reach out to your employees and reinforce the importance of reporting time diligently. The deadline for reporting time is each Thursday at 5pm. Please share the following Employee Self Service page with your employees so that they have it ready and available to enter their time: https://www.mass.gov/employee-self-service
 
·     Likewise, if you have direct reports, please ensure that you approve their time promptly. The deadline for approving time is each Friday at noon.
 
·     As a last resort, if an employee is unable to enter their time for a given week, please enter their time on their behalf. For subsequent weeks, please help the employee access Employee Self Service (HR/CMS) and ensure they follow the regular process for entering time.
 
 
For additional information on telework, Employee Self Service, and the emergency childcare programs, please visit the following links. These webpages will be updated on a regular basis with the latest guidance and additional resources:
 
·     Telework: www.mass.gov/telework
·     Employee Self-Service: www.mass.gov/employee-self-service
·     Technical Resources for Remote Access: www.mass.gov/technical-resources-for-remote-access-at-the-commonwealth
·     Remote Access Technology FAQs: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/remote-access-technology-faqs
·     EEC Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs: https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure
 
We appreciate your diligence in following these special procedures. Please reach out to your agency’s HR department for any further information you may need.


Access Version 2 of PDF Time Code Reporting Q&A


 

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