In accordance with the Healthy Ohioans Initiative and the ODNR Employee Wellness Plan , the Health and Wellness Alternative Program, or HWAP, is available to employees with supervisory approval. HWAP is an effort to demonstrate that ODNR is committed to a more healthful workforce, allowing employees to be more proactive towards healthier lifestyles. Through HWAP employees are allowed to adjust their work schedules to provide for time to pursue fitness and health activities. This includes but is not limited to combining break periods and lunch periods. These alternative work schedules must receive prior approval from the supervisor and must be for a fixed period of time. Supervisors may approve subsequent periods of identified times to pursue health and fitness endeavors. Approvals should not be open-ended or for unlimited periods of time.
Goal & Purpose Statement:
The goal of Healthy Ohioans is to promote and help facilitate healthy lifestyles, wellness and improved health and fitness for state employees so that they can effectively and efficiently serve the needs of the citizens of the State of Ohio. Long-term benefits of a healthier workforce may include: reduced healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, improved morale, heightened well-being and employee retention.
Statement of Benefits:
The Department of Natural Resources will allow employees to combine lunch hours with break times, giving a combined total of 90 minutes which can be used during lunchtime for the purpose of health and wellness activities.
Combining lunchtime and break times for a total of a 90-minute period shall be referred to as the Health and Wellness Alternative Program (HWAP). Participation in this Program is strictly voluntary.
Any full-time employee on the Department’s payroll is eligible to request use of the Health and Wellness Alternative Program. It must be deemed operationally feasible for any employee to participate in this Program. Each manager is responsible for making determinations regarding his/her individual staff and the eligibility of that staff.
Employees who choose to engage in health and wellness activities, may combine a lunch hour with the designated 15 minute morning and afternoon break times for a combined total of 90 minutes. Activities, which qualify for the use of this benefit, include but are not exclusively limited to:
- Attending a gym;
- Walking, jogging, bicycling, rollerblading, or skipping on the grounds of your current work location;
- Joining a walking/running club;
- Attending a class or lunchtime seminar on diet, exercise or psychological topics;
- Attending yoga, meditation, aerobics, jazzercise, kickboxing, or other health related course;
- Attending a smoking cessation or stress management course/seminar.
It is not appropriate, under the terms of this Program, for employees to use the HWAP for non-health related use. Examples of inappropriate use include, but are not limited to:
- Running errands;
- Going home to walk your dog;
- Visiting family members;
- Taking extended lunch periods wherein health and wellness is not the focus of the lunch.
If an employee has a question as to the appropriateness of the use of the Health and Wellness Alternative Program, he/she should contact the Wellness Team Coordinator for clarification.
Employees may be required to show proof of attendance to a health/wellness activity when requesting the use of the HWAP. Employees approved for, and subsequently
Using this Program shall enter a full 60 minute lunch break onto the sign in/sign out sheet and note they are combining 2 fifteen minute break periods using the “HWAP” code on the sign in/sign out sheets. Accounting for these periods will help the Department track the use and success of this Program.
This HWAP shall be used during the lunch hours beginning no earlier than 11:00 a.m. and ending no later than 3:00 p.m. Employees electing to utilize this Program understand that they are foregoing their normal break times in order to use the HWAP. On days when employees are not utilizing the HWAP, break times shall commence as they did prior to the availability of this Program.
Employees participating in health and wellness activities should seek the advice of a medical professional prior to engaging in such activities. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is not liable for any injury or ill effect resulting from a health or wellness activity.
As with any voluntary program offering, management has the right to make determinations as to the individual eligibility of program participants. Decisions surrounding eligibility should be made in consideration of the operational needs of any one division/office/section. Management has the right to cease or abolish this program altogether, or for individual employees, if it finds abuse of the program rules/regulationsThe HWAP is not to be used for occasions better suited for sick leave. Denial of HWAP is non-grievable. Any employee caught fraudulently using the Health and Wellness Alternative Program will receive the appropriate administrative action.
Note: The HWAP is only a small component of the previously approved ODNR Employee Wellness Plan. Please review the ODNR Employee Wellness Plan for other possible options if the HWAP is not a viable option for you.