Kansas Department of Administration

Bulletin 08-04 - State Telecommuting Policy

Bulletin No. 08-04


1.0 - SUBJECT: State Telecommuting Policy

2.0 - EFFECTIVE DATE: August 25, 2008

3.0 - DISTRIBUTION: State HR Directors

4.0 - FROM: George Vega, Director DATE: August 25, 2008

5.0 - PURPOSE: This Bulletin is being issued in order to clarify that State agencies in the Executive Branch have the flexibility under existing policies and regulations to provide for telecommuting (also known as Telework) opportunities for employees in their agencies. This Bulletin establishes the general framework for any such policies but it does not attempt to address the unique needs of all individual agencies.

6.0 - BACKGROUND: There are no regulations or statutes that specifically address the subject of telecommuting nor are there current statewide policies providing guidance on the establishment of such policies. Telecommuting can be an effective tool for agencies to attract and retain a diverse and talented work force. There are many advantages to telecommuting, including reduced transportation costs, improved productivity among employees, and providing agencies with the ability to quickly implement social distancing of employees in the case of a COOP (Continuity of Operations) event such as a Pandemic Influenza outbreak.

7.0 - PROCEDURES:

7.1  For the purposes of this Bulletin:

a) "Telecommuting" means working one or more days each work week from a location other than the employee’s regular worksite; and

b) an employee’s “regular worksite” means the State agency worksite where the employee would be required to work if he or she did not telecommute.

7.2  Within the limitations established by K.A.R. 1-9-1, Executive Branch agencies in the State of Kansas may develop and implement telecommuting policies and provide the option to telecommute to employees, when the agency determines such an arrangement to be appropriate and in the best interests of the State of Kansas. Telecommuting may be part of an employee’s regular schedule or done on a short-term basis.

7.3  Telecommuting is not appropriate for all employees or positions and the decision of whether to develop and/or implement a telecommuting policy is a management decision that may be made at the discretion of the appointing authority. No employee is entitled to, or guaranteed the opportunity to, telecommute. Factors that may influence the consideration of telecommuting include: the nature of a job and the suitability of performing required tasks away from the “regular worksite”, the personal characteristics and work habits of an employee and the management style of the supervisor.

7.4  In situations where telecommuting has been deemed to be appropriate and an agency has developed and instituted a policy, such policies must clearly delineate the parameters of the options with respect to telecommuting. These include, but are not limited to: security of privileged information, safety, work environment, availability for contact, property provided by the employer and that which is the responsibility of the employee, any costs attributed to the employer as well as to the employee and access to the telecommute worksite by the agency.

7.5  When the opportunity for telecommuting is offered, such an option shall not negatively affect the customer service provided to the citizens of the State of Kansas or other customers of the agency. The business needs of the agency, the public and the State of Kansas as a whole shall be considered paramount in the decisions of whether to offer such an option to employees.

7.6  Any policy or procedure with respect to telecommuting developed pursuant to this Bulletin shall comply with all applicable Federal and State rules, regulations and statutes.

8.0 - REFERENCES: K.A.R. 1-9-1, Regulations

9.0 - CONTACT PERSONS: Danelle Harsin at danelle.harsin@ks.gov or at (785) 296-4383.

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