[hypothetical] Due to the pandemic, schools are closed, and many employees have school-aged children home with them. Can these employees telework?
Generally, telework is not a substitute for dependent care. Employees cannot effectively accomplish work while actively caring for a child or adult who needs their full attention. However, during a pandemic, other emergency situation, or even during the normal course of events (e.g., a child is home due to routine illness), the employee could use a flexible combination of telework, leave, and schedule to meet their dependent care needs and still accomplish work. Managers and employees should discuss this scenario in advance to determine the limits of the employee’s availability and how communication and work flow would be affected.