Delaware Department of
Human Resources

Alternative Work Schedule Policy

 Policy Number: P16-001
 Effective Date: December 2016  Supersedes: July 2009
 Application: All State Agencies, Merit Employees  Merit Rule: 4.13, 4.14
 Authority:  Delaware Code, Title 29, Chapter 59


Policy Purpose Statement

The purpose of this policy is to support the creation of alternative work schedules providing employees and the State alternatives in employee work schedules, while adhering to State statutes and merit rules. The added flexibility in creating alternative work schedules also provides new opportunities for efficiency and expanded hours of customer service.


Every agency may, upon approval of the agency head, provide for alternative work schedules within the terms set forth in this policy.

Individual employees may be permitted, with the consent of their supervisor and the approval of appropriate management to work alternative schedules. Approval of alternative work schedules for individual employees will be based upon consideration of operational needs, the employee's job performance, special needs, employee's attendance and timeliness, and any disciplinary issues. Certain positions may not be eligible for an alternative work schedule due to program needs or the job duties assigned to the position. Every employee working an alternative work schedule shall do so in accordance with a written agreement, and approved by the immediate supervisor and appropriate management.

Policy Considerations

  1. Each agency shall determine the parameters of the scheduled work hours to be permitted based upon the operational needs, staffing requirements, service delivery requirements, and back-up coverage needs of the agency. Meal break periods may not be scheduled for the start or end of employee’s scheduled workday.

  2. The standard workweek schedules are 7.5 hours per day, 5 days per week for 37.5 hour employees or 8 hours per day, 5 days per week for 40 hour employees with a ½ or 1 hour unpaid meal break each day. Agencies are prohibited from scheduling employees for regular work hours that would incur overtime.

  3. All alternative work schedules shall provide that employees working a standard 37.5-hour workweek will be scheduled to work 75 hours each two-week pay period. For employees covered by the standard 40-hour workweek, alternative work schedules shall require the employee to be scheduled to work 80 hours each two-week pay period.

  4. Employees working alternative schedules who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may not be scheduled to work more than 40 hours in any week unless the employee is on an FLSA recognized schedule for their profession or workplace (a 14-day or 28-day law enforcement work period or an 8 and 80 schedule for residential care and hospitals).

  5. All employees working an alternative work schedule shall enter into a written agreement providing the details of the alternative work schedule. The agreement shall be signed by the employee, the employee's supervisor, and the Division Director/Agency Head. Agencies may develop their own forms of agreement with the understanding that all information listed on the attached sample form must be included on the agency version of the form.

  6. The employee shall have the right to return to the standard work schedule at any time, and the agency may require the employee to return to the standard work schedule any time if the needs of the agency require it or for other work-related reasons, such as employee performance, conduct or attendance. Employees may not change the approved alternate work schedule without a fully executed written agreement.

  7. If an employee is covered by a negotiated collective bargaining agreement, alternative work schedule provisions in that agreement may take precedent over this policy if there is a conflict between those provisions and this policy.

  8. Annual and sick leave accrue as normal. Leave usage will be charged based on the approved work schedule.

  9. A regular, full-time employee is eligible for compensation of 7.5 hours (or 8.0 hours for employees with a standard 40 hour workweek) for holiday pay on approved state holidays.

    1. If an approved state holiday falls on a day that a regular full-time employee on an alternative work schedule is scheduled for more than 7.5 hours (or 8 hours for employees with a standard 40 hour workweek), the employee may:

      1. Account for the additional time required through use of annual leave or compensatory time in order to complete 75 hours (or 80 hours) in a pay period.

      2. Complete the required hours by working additional time within the same workweek, if approved by the agency.

    2. If an approved state holiday falls on a day that a regular full-time employee on an alternative work schedule would not be scheduled to work, the employee may:

      1. Revert to a 5 day, 7.5/8 hour workweek for the full pay period in which the holiday falls; or

      2. Schedule an alternate day off within the same workweek as the holiday (i.e. flex the holiday); or

      3. If the agency is able to absorb the increased cost, they may allow the employee to request compensatory time for hours over 37.5 (or 40) if options 1 and 2 are not operationally feasible.

  10. A regular, full-time employee is eligible for compensation of 7.5 hours (or 8.0 hours for employees with a standard 40 hour workweek) for other types of leave, such as compassionate leave. Such leave will be granted on an hourly basis in accordance with applicable merit rules. If an employee’s alternative work schedule requires more hours per day than allowed for special types of leave, the shortage will have to be made up with annual or compensatory leave.

  11. Days off due to declared Severe Weather Conditions and Emergency Events will be counted as the amount of time normally worked that day. However, if a day off for a Severe Weather Conditions and Emergency Event is called on your scheduled day off an additional day off shall not be granted.

  12. Management reserves the right to temporarily revert the schedule to a normal workweek or to a special flexible schedule in order to accommodate training, attendance at conferences or other special events. With management approval, employees may further flex their schedule within an individual workweek in order to utilize any compensatory time that would otherwise be accrued within that time period. If an employee is out for a period of more than two weeks, then his/her schedule automatically reverts to a normal schedule for the duration of the time that he/she is not working.

  13. Agencies may make more restrictive alternative work policies, but cannot make less restrictive policies.

Associated Policy/Regulations/Information *

Form associated with this policy:

This policy is not intended to create any individual right or cause of action not already existing and recognized under state or federal law.