Best practices and lessons learned: for employees

On April 22, 2024, HHS released the updated Instruction 990-1 Workplace Flexibilities Policy. NIH OHR's Workplace Flexibilities websites and resources are in the process of being updated due to recent policy changes. We appreciate your patience as we update our resources and release communications related to policy implementation.


  • Understand the pay period begins with a blank timecard... there are no pre-populated tour hours, unless you have previously submitted leave or ad hoc TW.
  • Enter your tentative schedule in ITAS at the beginning of every pay period (you can edit as many times as desired).
  • Don't ‘Certify Timecard’ until the end of the pay period – after certification, the timekeeper is the only person who can make additional changes.
  • Ask your supervisor what their expectations are for communication about delayed arrivals or early departures, days without regular hours, etc.
  • Update your location and status in Outlook Communicator/Lync.

Meal periods

  • ITAS will deduct a 30 minute unpaid meal period if you enter start/stop times for 8 or more hours.
  • If you are only required to enter total hours worked, you must account for your meal period on their own (i.e. 8 – 4:30 = 8 hours of work with a 30 minute unpaid meal period).
  • If you work fewer than 8 hours and take an optional meal period, you must account for it using the split schedules feature.
  • If you take a long meal period (i.e. one hour), you need to enter a split schedule to account for it.


  • Indicating 'Regular' for Telework means that is a recurring TW day each pay period that is in the employee’s approved TW agreement. Everything else is 'Ad hoc.'
  • If you have already entered regular work hours on the timecard, but then decide to submit an ad hoc TW request, ensure the start/stop times match exactly to avoid error messages.


  • If you are planning to be out an entire week, spread the leave hours over each M-F week day so your supervisor doesn't think you are taking 10 hours of leave for four days in a row, and then coming in on Friday.
  • When submitting future leave requests, remember that the system no longer stores a set tour of duty. In order to enter a multi-day leave request, you must enter start/end times and/or total hours that will be applied to each day in the selected time frame.


  • Employees must be aware of Federal holidays and enter 8 hours of Holiday Leave (not Holiday Pay) on their timecards.