Biden announces help for federal employees who are military spouses and want to telework from abroad

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday announced new steps to improve a program that lets federal employees who also are military spouses telework from overseas.

The steps are part of Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative to support military and veteran families.

The first lady was hosting a White House ceremony later Wednesday with Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma, who were signing a permanent memorandum of agreement between their departments.

The agreement calls on the departments to work together to ease approvals of remote work arrangements under the Domestic Employees Teleworking Overseas program. Such an agreement was one of several steps to help military and veteran spouses, caregivers and survivors that was laid out in an executive order the Democratic president signed last June at Fort Liberty in North Carolina.

The White House said the steps announced will help military spouses continue their careers and keep their families together when the servicemember in their household is stationed abroad.

Military spouses face a 21% unemployment rate that has not significantly changed over the past decade, according to information from the White House. More than 16,000 military, veteran and surviving spouses work across federal departments and agencies.

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