Tours of Duty
Section J - Mixed Tours of Duty
|Mixed Tour||An employee on a mixed tour is subject to changes in work schedules from full-time(FT), to part-time(PT), or intermittent. Typically, such a schedule is made a condition of employment. Making it a condition of employment in advance, allows an Agency to make decreases in hours of work when necessary without using adverse action procedures. Pay and leave benefits are not based on the term “mixed tour” but rather the specific work schedule to which an employee may be assigned each pay period. An employee under “mixed tour” who is working a FT or PT schedule is entitled to the same pay/leave benefits as an employee on a standard FT or PT schedule.|
Full-time means the 40-hour workweek (5 CFR 610.102). A full-time employee's tour of duty is scheduled and assigned before the beginning of the administrative workweek.
Intermittent means a work schedule without a defined tour of duty or guaranteed number of work hours within an administrative work week. The work schedule is assigned after the beginning of the administrative work week.
Mixed tours of duty means annually recurring periods of full-time, part-time, or intermittent duty as long as the employee does not work part-time more than 6 pay periods per calendar year (5 CFR 340.202 [c]). Appointments not subject to the 6 pay period limitation are described in the chart below. When assigned to a part-time schedule, mixed tour employees are not required to work 16 - 32 hours per week but instead may be regularly scheduled to work between 1 - 15 or 33 to 39 hours per week.
A mixed tour employee in tenure group (TG) 1 or 2 who works more than 6 pay periods as part-time within a calendar year is considered a permanent part-time employee. This means the employee is no longer "mixed tour" and the rules for part-time (see below) must be followed.
Part-time means regularly scheduled work of 16 to 32 hours per week performed by an employee in TG 1 or 2 (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 3401 [a] through [f]) and (5 CFR 340.202 [a]) (see the chart below). The work is scheduled and assigned before the beginning of the administrative work week.
Note: Exceptions to the definition of "part-time" may be made by the Office of Human Capital Management (OHCM), U. S. Department of Agriculture, for employees in TG 1 or 2 who perform regularly scheduled work of between 1 to 15 hours per week (5 CFR 340.202[b]). Contact your servicing Human Resources (HR) office if interested in obtaining an exception. In instances where OHCM grants an exception, the Part-time Career Employment rules requiring a 16 - 32 weekly work requirement generally do not apply (5 USC 3402 [a]  and 5 CFR 340.202 [b]).
TG 1 and 2 consists primarily of employees on:
TG 0 consists of temporary employees, without tenure, in the:
TG 3 consists of employees:
| Mixed Tour Premium Pay/Leave Entitlements at a Glance
| Advantage of a Mixed Tour Work Schedule
||Employees assigned to the mixed tour program may be changed to FT, PT, and/or intermittent work schedules to accommodate workload requirements.
A mixed tour schedule also ensures that these employees are assigned proper work schedules and receive benefits appropriate to their appointment and work schedule.
| Mixed Tour Work Schedule Certification
||Before working mixed tours, employees are required to certify that they have read this section of Subchapter 4610, have had their questions answered, and understand that a mixed tour work schedule may involve alternating periods of FT, PT, and/or intermittent work during the year (see Sample Certification Form below.) A completed Official Personnel Folder (OPF) copy of the certification must be returned by the employee to the servicing HR office. The certification form will be filed in the employee's OPF, along with other required documents.
The employee's certification and the issuance of an SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, officially document the employee's assignment to the mixed tour.
| Establishing Work Schedules
||Increases and decreases in the workload will determine which work schedule is appropriate. Supervisors or scheduling personnel will notify employees in advance of the administrative workweek when it becomes necessary to change their work schedules. (Employees may also be notified prior to the beginning of a pay period if the tour is known for the entire pay period.)
Mixed tour employees assigned to PT tours are generally exempt from the career employment rules (5 C.F.R. 340.202). These rules affect health benefits proration (PDF) and PT employment as regularly scheduled work of between 16-32 hours per week and 32-64 hours per pay period.
Note: TG 1 and 2 employees assigned to PT tours for 6 pay periods or less per calendar year are NOT subject to the health benefits proration (PDF). Follow the chart below to request reimbursement:
The work schedules of mixed tour employees will be changed using the Time and Attendance system. This recording automatically will generate an SF-50 to document the change in work schedule; a copy will be provided to the affected employees.
Exception: When the scheduled hours of a mixed tour PT or a regular PT employee increase or decrease, the time and attendance system cannot generate a "change in hours" action. An SF-52 must be submitted to the servicing HR office to make this change if the change in PT hours will be in effect for 2 or more pay periods.
A mixed-tour employee assigned to a FT work schedule is entitled to holiday excused absence (Transaction Code [TC] 66) if he/she is in pay status either the day before OR the day after the holiday.
A mixed-tour employee assigned to a PT work schedule is entitled to be excused from work on any holiday that falls on a day included in his/her regularly scheduled tour of duty (i.e., it would have been part of his/her basic work schedule).
| Sunday Differential (Code 04)
||A FT employee whose basic work schedule includes Sunday (i.e., tour of duty is 5 days, Sunday through Thursday) will receive Sunday differential for nonovertime hours worked that do not exceed 8 hours.
Part-time Mixed Tour Employees
|Mixed tour employees assigned to FT/PT schedules are entitled to the same leave benefits as a full/part-time employee on a standard tour.|
| Temporary Mixed Tour Employees FEHB Benefits
||A mixed tour employee may be eligible for overtime if he/she works over 8 hours in a day (TC-19) or 40 hours in an administrative workweek (TC-21).|
| Night Differential
||A mixed tour employee with a FT or PT tour of duty who has been pre-scheduled to work night hours (night hours are defined as being between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.) is entitled to night differential. A mixed tour employee on an intermittent tour of duty is never entitled to night differential because, by definition, he/she has no prearranged tour.|
| USDA, MRP Mixed Tour Work Schedule Certification Form
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Name of Employee (Last, First, Middle) _____
Organization (Program, Branch, Region) _____
Duty Location (City and State) ______
I have reviewed Section J of Human Resources Desk Guide Subchapter 4610 and have had my questions answered :_____Yes _____ No
I understand that under the mixed tour program I may be required to work on alternating periods of full-time, part-time and/or intermittent work schedules: _____Yes _____No
_____I agree to the conditions of the mixed tour program and wish to be assigned to it.
_____I do not agree to the conditions of the mixed tour program and do not wish to be assigned to it. I fully understand that this means I will be without a regularly scheduled tour of duty and will work solely on an as-needed (intermittent) basis.
Signature of Employee Date of this Certification
| Optional Mixed Tour Work Schedule Assignment Form
The optional "Mixed Tour Work Schedule Assignment Form" may be used prior to the beginning of a pay period to notify employees of their assignment to a FT/PT work schedule for the upcoming pay period. This form is only to be used if the tour is known for the entire pay period.
Mixed Tour Work Schedule Assignment Form
Employee Name: _____ Date: _____
For pay period _____, you will be assigned to the following work schedule (check one):
Full-time ____ Part-time ____
______ Intermittent (if checked, do NOT fill in the blocks below)
The days and the number of hours you will be scheduled to work is as follows:
1. Does the "work" need to be scheduled and assigned or does just the work schedule (PT or FT) need to be known in advance?
If the work schedule (FT/PT) is known in advance, then that includes the days and number of hours to be worked. To be "scheduled" means that this information is put into writing and relayed to the employee before the beginning of an administrative workweek. The work location may be changed once the workweek begins. If you know the tour (FT/PT) for the entire pay period, then you may advise the employee prior to the beginning of the pay period. If you send a FT/PT employee home due to a lack of work, you are still obligated to pay him or her for the number of hours scheduled to work on that particular day.
If the first week is scheduled in advance but the second week cannot be determined, the employee is considered intermittent for the pay period. To keep the employee as FT for the pay period, the Program may consider allowing the employee to take annual leave or LWOP (not enforced leave) the second week of the pay period. The employee may submit a leave request prior to the beginning of the pay period. This principle also applies if the first week is scheduled as FT (i.e., 40 hours) but the second week is scheduled as PT (e.g., 10 hours). The employee is considered PT for the pay period (remember the 6 pay period rule for employees in TG 1 and 2).
In addition, if it is determined during the first week of the pay period that the employee is needed to work for all or part of the second week, any leave scheduled for the second week may be cancelled.
3. If a mixed-tour employee is not scheduled to work a FT work schedule in advance of the upcoming workweek for both weeks of a pay period, would the "lesser" work schedule (intermittent or PT) be coded on the T&A?
Yes. For example, if the first week is scheduled as FT (i.e., 40 hours), but the second week is scheduled as PT (e.g., 8 hours), the employee is considered PT for the pay period even if the employee is ordered to work additional hours the second week. See question #2 above.
4. If a TG 1 or 2 mixed-tour employee has worked 6 pay periods under a PT work schedule and is coded as PT on his/her T&A for those pay periods, and the same work schedule is expected for the next several pay periods, how is that employee converted to a permanent PT employee from a mixed-tour employee?
Converting a mixed tour employee to a permanent PT employee does not require an SF-52. The HR Processing Staff processes a correction to the last action to remove the mixed tour special employee code (81) from the payroll system.
Note: To take this action, you must have developed and applied an impartial way of deciding who gets the position. The person placed in this position is permanently removed from the mixed tour program. Please consult with your servicing HR Staffing Specialist for assistance.
Note: Any permanent PT work for TG 1 or 2 employees must be 16-32 hours per week. More than 32 hours of work per week may be allowed on an infrequent basis. Also see question #7 below.
5. If prior to the beginning of a pay period, a Program schedules a mixed-tour employee as PT for the entire pay period (e.g., 36 hours each week of a pay period), but, due to work demands, the employee actually works 40 hours each week of the pay period, will the T&A system allow the employee to be coded as PT?
Yes, the T&A system will allow the employee to be coded as PT. The employee will accrue sick leave and annual leave based on the actual number of hours in pay status, not the number of hours scheduled to work. For guidance on health benefits implications, see the "Establishing Work Schedules" section above.
6. In order to keep a TG 1 or 2 mixed tour employee as mixed tour rather than convert him/her to a permanent PT position, can a Program refrain from working the employee on a PT work schedule once he or she has worked PT for 6 pay periods in a calendar year?
Yes, under mixed tours, a TG 1 or 2 employee may only work as FT or Intermittent for the remainder of the calendar year. If a TG 1 or 2 employee were to be converted from mixed-tour to PT during the 7th pay period then the employee would be considered a permanent PT employee.
If a Program determines that PT work of less than 16 hours per week is needed, the Program may request that HR obtain an exception to the PT rules. In such a scenario, a TG 1 or 2 employee is permanently removed from the mixed tour program and placed under PT with a guaranteed number of hours of work per week that are less than 16 - 32 e.g., 8 hours of work per week. Also see question #7 below. Remember, that an impartial way of deciding who gets the position must be developed. The Program should consult with the servicing HR Staffing Specialist for assistance.
7. What are the conditions for the exception to the definition of "part-time" for TG 1 or 2 mixed tour employees who regularly work between 1-15 hours per week?
If OHCM approves an exception, then the TG 1 or 2 mixed tour employee is removed from mixed tour, placed under a PT work schedule and is regularly scheduled to work a specific number of hours per pay period, (e.g., 5 hours per week, 10 hours per pay period). Each pay period, the work location and specific hours (e.g., 6 am to 11 am or 2 pm to 7 pm) may change but the minimum guaranteed 10 hours per pay period under e.g., a standard tour, for example, will not. The particular day that such an employee works may also vary from week to week. The exception may be for a particular position or group of positions within a particular office, as appropriate. An employee in such a position may be permitted to work more hours on an infrequent basis.
If an exception is granted, health benefits will not be prorated. The Government must pay its share and the employee pays the non-prorated share. In terms of retirement, the employee receives credit for PT work (service credit is prorated).
8. Does a TG 1 or 2 mixed tour employee working more than 32 hours per week but less than 40 hours require an exception similar to the TG 1 or 2 PT employee who regularly works 1-15 hours?
No. A TG 1 or 2 mixed-tour employee may work a PT work schedule of between 33-39 hours a week for up to 6 pay periods per calendar year. Once the 6 pay periods has been reached, FPM Letter 340-2, dated 5/4/84, states that there is no authority to allow 33 - 39 hours of work per week under the PT Career Employment Act or as an exception to the Act (if a waiver were obtained). This means that if a TG 1 or 2 mixed tour employee works 6 pay periods as PT then he or she must either be converted to PT (and follow the 16-32 hours per week rule) or remain on a mixed tour work schedule and work only FT or Intermittent for the remainder of the calendar year. Also see question #6 above.
9. If a mixed-tour employee is assigned to work between 33-39 hours per week, are the health benefits prorated?
If a mixed-tour employee works 33-39 hours per week, then the health benefits are not prorated. Health benefits are prorated for 16-32 hours of work per week except as explained in the "Establishing Work Schedules" section above.
10. Once a TG 1 or 2 mixed-tour employee is converted from a mixed-tour work schedule to PT, is that permanent or only for that calendar year?
It is a permanent change.
11. Once a mixed-tour employee is scheduled to work a certain number of hours in advance of the upcoming workweek, can he/she work more hours than the scheduled number of hours?
Yes, he/she may work more hours. Depending on the situation, it may be regular time or overtime (OT). OT would be any work performed that is over 8 hours in a day or over 40 hours in an administrative workweek.
12. May a TG 0 or 3 mixed tour employee be regularly scheduled to work between 1-39 hours per week for the duration of their appointment?
13. If a mixed tour employee works a PT work schedule of between 1-39 hours of scheduled and assigned hours each week (a different number each week), does an SF-52 need to be submitted for every pay period that the Program changes the number of hours that employee is scheduled and assigned to work?
No, according to Chapter 24 of the Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, a "change in hours action" must be processed when the change in hours will be effective for two or more pay periods. Therefore, you must submit an SF-52 to document any change in PT hours that will be in effect for two or more pay periods. An SF-52 is not required ff you cannot determine if the increase or decrease in hours will be effective for more than one pay period. Also see the "Documentation" section above.
14. Can a FT mixed tour employee be assigned to a tour without definite hours of duty (e.g., a first 40-hour tour of duty)?
A mixed tour employee may not be placed on a 1st 40 or 1st 8 tour because his/her tour is a "mixed tour" of duty. To place an employee under a 1st 40 tour, he or she must be taken off of mixed tour and assigned to a 1st 40 tour. In such a scenario, the employee is guaranteed 40 hours of work per week and is no longer mixed tour.