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Instruction 340: Part Time Career Employment

Material Transmitted:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Instruction 340-1, Part-Time Career Employment

Material Superseded:

HHS Transmittal 96.24 (09/20/96)


The issuance of HHS Transmittal 96.24 abolished HHS Instruction 340, Part-Time Career Employment Program (issued 04/15/80).

This Instruction re-establishes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy and delegates authority for developing part-time career employment programs to the Operating Divisions/Staff Divisions (OpDivs/StaffDivs).

Implementation of this Instruction must be carried out in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, merit promotion plans, collective bargaining agreements, and Departmental policy.

This issuance is effective immediately.


Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources

340-1-00: Purpose

The purpose of this Instruction is to establish policy and delegate authority for developing part-time career employment programs throughout the Department.

340-1-10: References

  1. U.S.C. 3401-3408 – Part-Time Career Employment Opportunities
  2. 5 C.F.R., Part 340, Other Than Full-Time Career Employment (Part-Time, Seasonal, On-Call, and Intermittent)
  3. Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapter 26, Change in Tenure Group
  4. Office of Personnel Management Part-Time Employment and Job Sharing Guide

340-1-20: Definitions

  1. Job sharing - A form of part-time employment in which one position may be performed by two or more part-time employees to equate to one full time equivalent.
  2. Part-time career employment - Regularly scheduled work consisting of 16 to 32 hours per week, or 32 to 64 hours during a biweekly pay period in the case of a flexible or compressed work schedule, performed by employees in competitive or excepted service appointments in tenure groups I or II. As an exception to this definition, an OpDiv/StaffDiv may permit an employee, who has an appointment in tenure groups I or II, to work one to 15 hours per week (e.g., interns hired for more than one year).
  3. Tour of duty - The hours of a day (daily tour of duty) and the days of an administrative workweek (weekly tour of duty) that are scheduled in advance and during which an employee is required to perform work on a regularly recurring basis.
  4. Tenure group I:
    1. Employees in the competitive service who are serving under career appointments and have completed initial appointment probation or are not required to serve an initial appointment probation.
    2. Employees in the excepted service whose appointments carry no restrictions or conditions such as conditional, indefinite, specific time limitation, or trial period.
  5. Tenure group II:
    1. Employees in the competitive service serving under career-conditional appointments and career employees serving initial appointment probation.
    2. Employees who are serving trial periods and employees whose tenure is equivalent to career-conditional tenure in the competitive service.

340-1-30: Coverage and Exclusions

  1. This Instruction covers part-time career employment as defined in 340-1-20, above.
  2. This Instruction excludes:
    1. Intermittent or temporary part-time employment.
    2. Individuals who began part-time employment on, or before, April 8, 1979. Individuals who began part-time employment on, or before, April 8, 1979, under a career appointment, may continue to work under the previous agreement as long as they continue to work part-time without a break in service.
    3. Individuals appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
    4. Commissioned Corps Officers.
    5. Part-time positions for which the number of hours of work are established by a collective bargaining agreement.
    6. Employees in tenure groups I or II who work under a mixed tour of duty. For this purpose, a mixed tour of duty consists of annually recurring periods of full-time, part-time, or intermittent service, as long as the employee does not work part-time more than six pay periods per calendar year.
    7. Interns appointed under a Pathways Program. There are no limitations on the number of hours an intern can work per week (so long as the agency adheres to laws and regulations governing overtime and hours of work).

340-1-40: Policy

  1. It is the policy of the Department to provide part-time career employment opportunities, subject to resources, business needs, and mission requirements.
  2. Each OpDiv/StaffDiv is responsible for developing and promoting a part-time career employment program. The minimum program requirements include:
    1. Part-time career employment opportunities for GS-1 through GS-15 positions (or equivalent).
    2. The review of encumbered and vacant positions to determine which may be performed on a part-time career employment basis (including the establishment of criteria to be used in identifying such positions).
    3. Procedures and criteria for establishing or converting positions for part-time career employment, subject to the limitations of 5 U.S.C. § 3393 (career appointments).
    4. Annual goals for establishing or converting positions for part-time career employment and a timetable setting forth deadlines for achieving such goals.
    5. A continuing review and evaluation of the part-time career employment program.
    6. Procedures for notifying the public of vacant part-time positions.
  3. The part-time career employment program must be developed with the following limitations:
    1. The OpDiv/StaffDiv may not abolish any position occupied by an employee in order to make the duties of such position available to be performed on a part-time career employment basis.
    2. The OpDiv/StaffDiv may not require a full-time employee to accept part-time employment as a condition of continued employment.

340-1-50: Responsibilities

  1. The Office of Human Resources (OHR), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration (ASA) is responsible for:
    1. Reviewing and maintaining this policy.
    2. Conducting periodic reviews of OpDiv/StaffDiv part-time employment programs and appointments.
  2. Operating Divisions/Staff Divisions are responsible for:
    1. Implementing and administering part-time employment programs consistent with the law, regulations, collective bargaining agreements, and this Instruction.
    2. Establishing a process to exempt positions from being filled on a part-time basis (i.e., positions that are critical to mission accomplishment, and employment in these positions on a part-time basis, including job-sharing, would adversely affect mission accomplishment).
    3. Continually evaluating participation in the program in order to assess overall program effectiveness and to ensure compliance.
  3. Operating Human Resources Organizations are responsible for:
    1. Providing advice and assistance to managers and employees on the part-time career employment program.
    2. Advising the employee, in writing, of the effects of converting from full-time to part-time employment (e.g., impact on leave accrual, prorated health insurance premiums, fulfillment of qualification determinations, computation of service credits, retirement annuity, etc.)
    3. Ensuring that the employee signs a statement acknowledging his/her understanding of the effects of converting from full-time to part-time employment. This signed statement must be filed in the electronic official personnel folder (eOPF).
    4. Documenting the employee’s tour of duty on an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action.

340-1-60: Evaluation

Review and evaluation of the part-time career employment program will be included in the periodic human resources evaluations conducted by the ASA and OHR to ensure compliance.

Content created by Assistant Secretary for Administration (ASA)
Content last reviewed on September 27, 2016