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National Work & Family Month

Thursday, October 15, 2015
MEMORANDUM FOR: 
CHIEF HUMAN CAPITAL OFFICERS
From: 
BETH F. COBERT, ACTING DIRECTOR
Subject: 
National Work & Family Month

This memorandum provides an overview of our progress towards more effective, flexible work environments in celebration of National Work & Family Month and in support of the June 23, 2014, Presidential Memorandum on Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs.  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is also pleased to share information about multiple resources and tools available to agencies as they expand the use of workplace flexibilities and work-life programs as appropriate and consistent with agency mission.    

The President reminded us that "to attract, empower, and retain a talented and productive workforce in the 21st century, the Federal Government must continue to make progress in enabling employees to balance their responsibilities at work and at home."

OPM is committed to helping agencies strategically develop and improve work-life programs through consultation, guidance, trainings, and tools.  Highlighted below are some valuable resources to support you and your employees.

  • TELEWORK.GOV -- In August 2015, OPM released the new Telework.gov website.  The revised website has a fresh, current design, is easy to navigate, and is mobile accessible.  Through Telework.gov, Federal agencies can access a wide array of information and resources to help implement strong telework programs, such as:
    • building the business case for telework;
    • performance evaluation and telework;
    • emergency planning, safety checklists, and self-assessments;
    • telework training;
    • various reports from OPM, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. General Services Administration, and other Federal partners; and  
    • answers to frequently asked questions.
       
  • DEPENDENT CARE HANDBOOKS –This year, OPM released two comprehensive handbooks to help employees manage their family and work responsibilities. The Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care provides guidance on advanced sick and annual leave policies while emphasizing the various leave entitlements and flexibilities available to assist employees who are undertaking childbirth, adoption, or foster care.  Similarly, the Handbook on Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Programs for Elder Care provides information on work-life programs, as well as leave and work schedule flexibilities, available to employees caring for an elderly family member. 
  • NO COST PREVENTIVE HEALTH BENEFITS –The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program can help employees and their families meet their health needs.  FEHB health plans cover many preventive services at no cost to their members.  These include, but are not limited to flu shots, tobacco cessation treatment options, newborn hearing screening, vision screening for children at selected ages, and screening certain adults for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and cancer.  OPM encourages all Federal employees to take advantage of these preventive health benefits.  For more information, consult the preventive services section of each plan's brochure, available on OPM's Healthcare website.
  • THE EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (EAP) –EAPs are available to help Federal employees navigate life's transitions, find more satisfaction in their job, and maximize their physical and emotional wellbeing.  Each Federal Executive Branch agency has an EAP.  Common EAP services include assessments, counseling, and referrals to additional services for employees (including management) with personal and/or work-related concerns, such as stress, financial issues, legal issues, family problems, office conflicts, and alcohol and substance abuse.  EAPs can also help management and supervisors plan in advance for organizational changes, emergencies, and response to unique traumatic events.  For more information, visit OPM's Employee Assistance Program website.
  • HR UNIVERSITY'S WORK-LIFE STUDIO – HR University (HRU) is designed to cultivate continuous learning across the Federal Government. In HRU's Work-Life Studio, Federal HR practitioners, managers, and employees can find free online courses, such as Executive Excellence and Wellness through Strategic Leadership, Telework 101 for Managers, and Telework 101 for Employees, videos, upcoming events, and Federal resources related to work-life programs.

In addition, OPM provides agency Work-Life Coordinators with regular opportunities to share best practices and facilitates interagency learning through in-person and virtual events.  During National Work and Family Month, OPM will offer a series of webinars and forums on current work-life topics, such as pregnancy discrimination, working from home or an alternative worksite as a reasonable accommodation, nutrition promotion in Federal agencies, and elder care.  OPM will send information about specific events to agency Work-Life Coordinators.

Additional Information

Employees should contact their agency's Work-Life Coordinator(s) for more information. Agency human resources offices are encouraged to review the material available on OPM's Work-Life website and contact OPM's WorkLife Office at worklife@opm.gov for assistance.

cc: Deputy CHCOs, Human Resources Directors, and Directors of Diversity and Inclusion