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HRDG 4610 - Tours of Duty - Section K - Subsection A

Subchapter 4610 - Tours of Duty
Section K - Alternative Work Schedules: Compressed and Flexible
Subsection a -- 5-4/9 Compressed Work Schedules


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Example of 5-4/9 Workweek


WEEK 1 Hours Worked: WEEK 2 Hours Worked:
Monday 8 Monday 9
Tuesday 9 Tuesday 9
Wednesday 9 Wednesday 9
Thursday 9 Thursday 9
Friday 9 Friday Day Off

Total hours worked for
the pay period = 80

Basic Work Requirements

Tours of duty for headquarters employees may begin no earlier than 6 a.m. and end no later than 6 p.m. unless there is a work-related reason that would justify the payment of night differential. Field locations should establish start/stop times based on local mission requirements.

All tours must begin on a quarter hour (i.e., 8, 8:15, 8:45).

All 9-hour days must begin and end at the same time each day. The agency determines these hours. The 8-hour day must be the same day and time each pay period. The day off must be scheduled on the same day for each pay period and documented on the time report.

Exception: Employees on nonstandard tours of duty.

Any changes to the schedule must be in writing and must be requested in advance of the start of the pay period.

Note: Work locations that rotate employees through different tours each pay period must document the tour to which the employees will be assigned in advance of the beginning of the pay period.

Basic Workweek

For a full-time employee, the basic workweek is 80 hours biweekly worked in 9 days (eight 9-hour days and one 8-hour day).

For a part-time employee, the basic workweek is the number of hours regularly scheduled to work in a workweek. The employee's schedule must include at least one 9-hour day.

Changing an Employee's Scheduled Day Off

Supervisors must allow the employee to take the scheduled day off each pay period or order him/her to work and pay them overtime for work scheduled in excess of 80 hours in the pay period. This does not preclude the supervisor from assigning the day off to the employee.

When the work situation (including travel or training), requires, and the employee requests, the supervisor may approve a change in the scheduled day off during the pay period.

There are three considerations for approving a change to the day off:

  • The request is work-related;
  • The employee requested it; and
  • It is not a retroactive change.
Meal Period

Employees may select 30, 45, or 60 minutes as the length of the unpaid meal period. The length of the meal period remains fixed from day-to-day at 30, 45, or 60 minutes daily, but does not have to be taken during the same clock hours.

Note: The manager/supervisor may set a fixed unpaid meal period of 30, 45, or 60 minutes for the entire work unit.

Scheduling Days Off for Holidays

When a full-time employee's day off falls on a holiday, the general rule described in Section F, “Determining ‘In Lieu of' Holidays for Full-time Employees on Flexible or Compressed Work Schedules” applies. An employee is entitled to the hours of pay for the holiday for the amount of time scheduled to be worked (i.e., either 8 or 9 hours).

Part-time employees are only paid on holidays for those hours during which they are actually prevented from working. Part-time employees are not entitled to an "in lieu of" holiday if a holiday falls on a nonworkday.

Supervisors must not allow part-time employees to change schedules, solely to entitle them to pay for holidays.


Time spent traveling away from the official duty station during the prescheduled tour of duty is considered work time. Employees may remain on their compressed schedule only if the supervisor can assume that the prescheduled tour will be completed. Otherwise, the supervisor must require the employee to return to a standard 8-hour-a-day tour.

Note: When an employee's travel involves more than one time zone, work time is computed based on the time zone the employee was in at the start of the workday.

Training When scheduled training does not conform to the employee's regular scheduled tour of duty, the employee's work schedule should be changed to a standard tour of duty (i.e., five 8-hour days) for the period of time during which the employee will attend training.

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