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  • Workforce Reshaping

Supporting the Workforce

How to Support Employees during Change Using Transition Assistance Programs and Work/Life Resources

Resources for Impacted Employees

When an agency realizes that its workforce reshaping plan will likely result in involuntary separations, demotions, and/or relocations because some employees hold surplus positions, the agency’s first option is often to try to place the surplus employees in other continuing positions through an effective outplacement program. Career Transition Assistance Plans (CTAP) provide most surplus and displaced permanent competitive service employees with intra-agency selection priority for vacancies the agency is filling in the current local commuting area. CTAP also requires the agency to provide specific career transition services, such as:

  • Career counseling
  • Career transition services and facilities
  • Application referrals
  • Job search counseling
  • An orientation session for surplus and displaced employees that explains both how to use the agency’s career transition services, and what the eligibility requirements are for selection priority under available programs

Beyond these key features, agencies may design career transition programs that work best for their employees.

In addition, each agency must maintain a Reemployment Priority List (RPL) for each local commuting area where it separates employees by reduction in force. Employees can register for the RPL to tell their former agency that they want to return if the agency has vacancies. Employees can register for their agency's RPL as soon as they receive a reduction in force (RIF) separation notice. Before the agency can select a candidate outside its workforce, it must first check the RPL for that location. With a few exceptions, the agency must select a qualified employee from the RPL before hiring anyone from outside the agency.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) is the way displaced Federal workers receive priority for jobs in other agencies (besides the agency they worked in before involuntary separation).  Employees eligible for ICTAP must apply for positions in the local commuting area and include proof that they were displaced. ICTAP gives an eligible, well-qualified employee selection priority over almost any other applicant from outside the agency.

Career Transition Resources for Employees:

Employees separated or impacted in a RIF may also be entitled to: 

Benefits Resources for Employees:

Work-Life Resources

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) services include assessments, counseling, and referrals for additional services to employees with personal and/or work-related concerns, and often work with management and supervisors providing advanced planning for situations, such as organizational changes, legal considerations, emergency planning, and response to unique traumatic events. Agencies should make sure that employees know that EAP can provide support services such as:

  • Stress management and resilience-building sessions
  • Counseling and short-term problem solving services
  • Referral services related to legal issues, financial planning, and retirement
  • Emergency back-up dependent care
  • Consultation to managers on managing change
  • Intervention and support groups

Other work-life programs, such as wellness initiatives, can promote healthy eating, regular physical activity, quality sleep, and other healthy habits.  These habits can thereby reduce stress and reap other organizational and individual benefits.

Agencies are encouraged to maximize all other work-life program and flexibilities, as appropriate, such as telework, flexible work schedules, and family and dependent care programs, to allow the Federal Government to remain productive and support employee engagement. 

Learn more about these programs:

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