HR & Payroll News

New Commonwealth Telework Policy and Next Steps

You recently received an email from the Commonwealth of Virginia detailing their updated Policy 1.61: Teleworking. We want to follow up with additional information. 

The Mason community has shared their perspective about this change in telework policy. We have been, and will continue to be, in contact with the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM). We will update the campus community as we learn more. Thank you for your patience and understanding as Mason transitions to comply with the Commonwealth’s new telework policy affecting classified staff.

  

The new policy and its requirements

This policy applies to classified staff only. Classified staff who wish to continue teleworking or remote working must submit a New Standard Telework Agreement by May 20, 2022This policy will take precedence over all prior university classified staff telework policies and agreements. This includes remote working; teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM) agreement; and temporary telework of less than two weeks' duration. 

This new policy is in alignment with Mason’s support for “hybrid work environment[s] that allow for telework for one or two days per week—with the necessary assessment to ensure the responsibilities of the position are able to be achieved” per Dr. Washington’s announcement in fall 2021. 

  

Who is affected by this new policy?

This policy change applies to all classified staff at George Mason University who utilize telework (which includes remote working; teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM) agreement; and temporary telework of less than two weeks' duration). 

  

What about my current approved telework form?

This policy will take precedence over all prior university classified staff telework policies and forms. This includes remote working; those teleworking as part of an approved Accommodation, Adjustment and Modification (AAM) agreement; and temporary telework of less than two weeks' duration. If you are classified staff with an existing telework (which includes remote work) agreement on file, it will be automatically terminated effective July 5, 2022.  

All classified staff who wish to telework must submit the New Standard Telework Agreement no later than May 20, 2022. Submission instructions are below.  

 

Form Submission Steps

  1. Employees should initiate and submit the electronic New Standard Telework Agreement. You can also access the form and instructions on the Flexible Work website. This form must be submitted electronically via our online form. Paper and electronic pdf versions of the form will not be accepted.
  2. Once the employee submits the form, it will be routed to their supervisor for review.
  3. Supervisors will approve or deny the form. Forms that are approved by the supervisor will be automatically forwarded to the respective party under the new policy for further review.
  4. The respective parties outlined below will approve or deny the request.
  5. Once the process is complete, employees will be notified of their request status.
  6. If the New Standard Telework Agreement is approved, employees will then submit the standard Mason telework form found on the Flexible Work website.

Please note: The New Standard Telework Agreement will remain effective for one calendar year (12 months from the start date), subject to termination by either party. Employees will need to re-submit telework forms annually. 

 

Important dates

May 20, 2022: Classified staff and their supervisors must have submitted the New Standard Telework Agreement. Classified staff should allow ample time for their supervisor to approve the telework agreement before this date.

Mason and the Commonwealth will be processing forms received after May 20, 2022, on a rolling basis.

June 3, 2022: Mason will review all forms requesting one day of telework if the forms were approved by the supervisor no later than May 20, 2022. The Commonwealth of Virginia will review all forms requesting two or more days of telework per their commitment that was communicated by the Virginia Chief of Staff in his May 5, 2022 message.

July 5, 2022: Policy 1.61 takes effect. Previously submitted Mason classified staff telework forms are void. Employees are expected to return to the physical workplace unless they have an approved New Standard Telework Agreement in place.

If classified staff are approved to continue teleworking, they must also complete the standard Mason telework form found on the Flexible Work website.

 

Who approves the new telework agreements? 

The policy states that telework agreement approvals depend on how many days employees are requesting:  

    • George Mason University may approve/deny one day of telework per week or temporary telework (lasting no more than two weeks, for temporary circumstances such as family illness, school closing, weather advisories, etc.) 
    • The Virginia Cabinet Secretary may approve/deny requests to telework two days per week.  
    • The Virginia Chief of Staff may approve/deny requests to telework more than two days per week (including remote work). 

 

Resources 

  

If you have questions, please contact the Faculty and Staff Engagement Team at engagehr@gmu.edu.