The National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility

Workplace Flexibility 2010 — a research, outreach and consensus-building effort on national workplace flexibility policy based at Georgetown Law — has convened a National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility (the "NAC").

Workplace Flexibility 2010's mission is to develop public policy ideas to increase access to workplace flexibility in ways that meet the needs of both employees and employers. The mission of the NAC is to provide expert legal, political and economic guidance during the development of these ideas and, if possible, to come to consensus on some or all of these policy ideas.

Who serves on the NAC?

The NAC's members represent a broad range of perspectives surrounding the debate on workplace flexibility — including former political players, labor, consumer, and business representatives, and researchers and academics. (See attached list of members; current and former affiliations provided for identification purposes only.)

Why workplace flexibility?

The need for workplace flexibility among American employees of all ages, professions, and income levels is urgent. A significant majority of workers report that they do not have the flexibility they need to succeed at work and still fulfill their personal obligations — be it caregiving for a child, a spouse, or a parent, volunteering in the community, attending religious services, or obtaining advanced training. In addition, older workers, whose expertise and experience are urgently needed in many industry sectors, require flexibility to remain active in the workforce. Despite a serious mismatch between our workplace structures and the needs of working Americans, there have been no recent successful federal policy efforts to help American employees balance their work and personal responsibilities.

Is consensus on workplace flexibility possible?

Over the last several decades, the policy debate around the intersection of work and family has been plagued by political stalemate. But through extensive legal research and outreach, Workplace Flexibility 2010 has already identified possibilities for consensus-based workplace flexibility policy that can work for both businesses and employees — and has laid the groundwork for creating support for such policies among a diverse range of stakeholders.

The NAC represents the next step in the consensus-building process around workplace flexibility. By engaging in a thoughtful policy conversation that is not dominated by partisan rhetoric, the NAC will help Workplace Flexibility 2010 identify workplace flexibility policy solutions that can bridge serious political divides in Washington and beyond.

What issues will the NAC discuss?

The NAC's discussions will address the three core policy components of workplace flexibility, as defined by Workplace Flexibility 2010, including:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) – FWAs alter the time and/or place that work is conducted on a regular basis. They provide flexibility in the scheduling of hours worked, the amount of hours worked, and the location of work — in a manner that is as manageable and predictable as possible for both employees and employers.
  • Time Off – Time Off provides leave from work for a defined period of time to address unexpected or ongoing personal and family needs — ranging from emergency home repairs and parent-teacher conferences to dealing with a serious illness or caring for a newborn child. Time Off can be taken in a variety of increments — including Short Term Time Off (STO), Episodic Time Off (EPTO), or Extended Time Off (EXTO).
  • Career Flexibility – Career Flexibility addresses the needs of employees who, out of necessity or personal choice, leave the workforce completely for a period of time, but need and/or want to reenter the workforce later.

What is the goal of the NAC?

The NAC's primary goal is to provide Workplace Flexibility 2010 with sound feedback and guidance as it develops a set of policy proposals addressing the three components of workplace flexibility. However, during its discussions, the NAC will also attempt to come to consensus on some or all of Workplace Flexibility 2010's draft policy solutions. While full consensus among all members may not be possible, the NAC will work toward agreement on a set of proposals designed to serve as a foundation for a national, comprehensive public policy to advance workplace flexibility.

Is the NAC the sole source of feedback for Workplace Flexibility 2010 on its policy ideas?

No. Over the past number of years, Workplace Flexibility 2010 has developed contacts with a wide range of stakeholders who care about workplace flexibility. The policy ideas discussed with the NAC are also being discussed with these stakeholders. In addition, Workplace Flexibility 2010 is holding six community policy forums across the country during 2008-2009 to elicit the feedback and insights of local and community businesses and organizations.

For more information on Workplace Flexibility 2010

If you would like additional information about Workplace Flexibility 2010, please contact us at wf2010@law.georgetown.edu.