Department of Defense civilian employees may continue to work from home while a child or dependent family member requires care through June 30, 2021, according to a memorandum released publicly Nov. 30.

Normal DoD rules for civilian telework stipulate that employees may not use telework as a substitute for dependent care, such as the care needed for young children or elderly family members.

Under a March 8 memo, DoD allowed civilian employees to telework while a dependent was present in the home as part of the agency’s efforts to provide flexibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. That flexibility was slated to end Dec. 31, 2020.

The new memorandum allows DoD components to continue to grant exceptions to the dependent care telework restrictions well into the new year, as the number of new COVID cases across the country has spiked in recent months.

“Employees must still account for work and nonwork hours during their tours of duty and take appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for a child or dependent),” the memorandum states.

The National Capital Region DoD offices still remain at Health Protection Condition Level B+, meaning that offices remain open with restricted access and enhanced health measures.

Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.

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