NJ State Employees Work from Home in State Sponsored Pilot Program

Morristown Minute

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NJ State employees participate in a year-long work-from-home pilot program.Photo byMorristown Minute

NJ state employees are currently participating in a pilot program to test the effectiveness of “work from home” – effective July 1, 2022, the pilot program will run until June 30, 2023.

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The New Jersey Civil Services Commission voted earlier this year to approve a pilot program enabling State of New Jersey departments and authorities to establish a “telework program” for employees.

Telework, or remote/virtual work, aims to offer more workplace flexibility, allowing State agencies to compete with the private sector by broadening strategies and incentives for recruitment and retention.

The pilot program will last for one year and apply to all departments and authorities, with an implementation deadline that was on July 1, 2022.

"The approval of the Model Telework Pilot Program is a monumental step that addresses the current needs of the State workforce,” said Civil Service Commission Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Deirdré Webster Cobb Esq. “During the height of the pandemic, we witnessed State employees successfully continue to deliver critical State and public services while teleworking. As we witness changes around the world in the landscape of how we work, it is important for us to adapt in order to attract and retain qualified State workers.”

Not all state employees will be eligible for the telework program due to the nature of their work. For example, Department of Labor & Workforce Development and Motor Vehicle Commission employees whose primary job responsibilities involve in-person services will not be eligible for telework.

The pilot program establishes general parameters for all State departments and agencies to follow when developing their department-specific telework policies.

Parameters include:

  • All departments will be required to offer a telework program of no more than two working days per week based on operational needs.
  • Appointing authorities should make available flextime schedules and/or alternate work programs for employees who are not eligible for telework when operational needs allow.
  • Employees will be required to engage in an application process to determine eligibility. Both employees and managers will be required to complete telework training as part of the approval process.
  • Significant discretion shall be given to appointing authorities to consider operational needs when determining telework schedules for eligible employees.
  • Each department will be required to consult with relevant unions when developing their telework plans.

All pilot-telework plans were submitted to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission (CSC) by June 1st and implemented by July 1st, 2022.

New Jersey State employees must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the remote work pilot program:

  • The employee is able to meet minimum performance expectations
  • The employee is not currently subject to ongoing performance-based corrective action; For example, employees on a Performance Improvement Plan are not eligible for telework.
  • Job duties can be successfully performed remotely
  • Performance expectations can be successfully achieved remotely
  • Specialized equipment or references materials are available remotely
  • Classified or sensitive information can be securely accessed remotely
  • Information Technology systems can be securely accessed remotely
  • Employees can undertake training remotely
  • Adequate supervision can be provided remotely
  • The operational needs of the department allow for employees’ job duties to be performed remotely
  • The amount of direct customer contact required for employees does not render telework prohibitive
  • Remote work can be performed consistent with the New Jersey First Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14-7 (L. 2011, C. 70)

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