The government could realize a large savings by changing the sick leave accrual rate to a scale based on the number of hours or days an employee teleworks each pay period, and allowing employees to telework while sick. The rule should set an across-the-board sick leave accrual rate for all employees, regardless of telework participation and tenure. For example, all employees accrue 5 sick leave hours per pay period. Employees teleworking 1 day out of 5, would accrue 4 sick leave hours per pay period. Employees teleworking 2 days out of 5 would accrue 3 sick leave hours per pay period, and 2 sick leave hours per pay period would be earned for employees working 3 telework days out of 5. To account for compressed work schedules, 8 hours would equal one work day, and the scale would equate appropriately. Time and attendance software programs could easily be calibrated to keep track of CWS hours versus telework sick leave hours accrued and used.
Employees would still be able to take use sick leave when they can’t work, but should be allowed to when they have a cold that requires rest and relative isolation to prevent others from being infected. This would lessen the communicable cold, flu and disease transmission rate and a savings would be realized in productivity, and the reduction in sick leave allotments would be justified.
I noticed that my sick leave balance has gone up dramatically since I’ve been teleworking. I believe that is due to me not being in an environment where I’m more likely to become sick. I do believe, however, that the reduction in the number of sick leave hours the government owes employees will translate into significant budgetary savings.