Credit Hours Under a Flexible Work Schedule Part 1
Credit hours are hours that an employee elects to work, with supervisory approval, in excess of the employees basic work requirement under a flexible work schedule. (Information on flexible work schedules is available in OPMs Handbook on Alternative Work Schedules.) The basic work requirement for full-time employees is 80 non-overtime hours in a 2-week pay period. Agency policies or union agreements may place restrictions on earning or using credit hours.
Employees are not paid basic pay or overtime pay for credit hours when they earn them. An employee may use credit hours during a subsequent day, week, or pay period, with supervisory approval, to allow the employee to be absent from an equal number of hours of the employees basic work requirement with no loss of basic pay. (See the definitions of basic work requirement and credit hours in 5 U.S.C. 6121(3) and (4), respectively.)
Full-time or part-time employees under flexible work schedules may earn credit hours if agency policies for flexible work schedules or union agreements permit. Agencies may permit GS employees, wage employees, senior level or scientific professional employees (SL/ST) and DOD nonappropriated fund employees under flexible work schedules to earn credit hours. Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) may not earn credit hours. See 5 U.S.C. 6121(2) and 5 CFR 610.408.
Agency policies or union agreements may permit part-time employees to earn credit hours if they elect to work in excess of their basic work requirement. Part-time employees under flexible work schedules may have a basic work requirement of between 32 and 64 hours during a biweekly pay period. See 5 U.S.C. 3401(2). Overtime pay standards do not have to be met before part-time employees may earn credit hours. Part-time employees may accumulate a maximum of one-fourth of the hours in their biweekly basic work requirement as credit hours for carryover to the next biweekly pay period. See 5 U.S.C. 6126(a).
Yes. An employees election to work a flexible work schedule and earn credit hours is subject to limitations prescribed by an agency to ensure that the duties and responsibilities of a position are fulfilled. Subject to any applicable negotiated agreement, the head of an agency may determine that any organization within the agency is being substantially disrupted in carrying out its functions or is incurring additional costs because of use of flexible work schedules. If such a finding is made, the agency head may restrict the use of credit hours, limit flexible time bands, or exclude any employee or group of employees from using flexible work schedules.
Even without such a finding, an agency may establish limitations on how credit hours are earned and the number of credit hours that may be earned. (See 5 U.S.C. 6122(b).)
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