3. EC Staff petition to Commissioner Hahn
UP TO 60 + 5 DAYS OF TELEWORK FROM ABROAD PER YEAR
With clause of revision in one year: December 2021-December 2022
o The world is changing and so must our administration.
o The ongoing pandemic has forever changed the way in which we work.
o The European Commission has proved that it can deliver efficiently with its staff working remotely.
o At the same time, each and every staff member should be guaranteed the possibility to work exclusively at the office.
o The European Commission is a public administration of a political nature.
A real and effective hybrid work pattern is the most suitable and efficient system for an institution of its kind. Both ways are complementary taking into account the nature of tasks and the objective general interest: physical presence where necessary, telework where possible.
An organisation like the European Commission is not a network of individual providers but a working community: physical presence is necessary for a number of activities (socializing, creativity, innovation, learning, etc.).
Remote working offers staff more flexibility in managing their work commitments and private life, whilst contributing to the wellbeing of the personnel and a greener Commission.
HR’s current plans for the future work pattern lag behind best practices at other International organisations, with a working scheme consisting of, in principle, 1 teleworking day per week, 2 days of physical presence in the office, and the remaining to be agreed with the line manager. Line managers will always have the last say on everything, without any guarantees whatsoever for the staff member.
HR’s proposal for only 10 days of telework from abroad per year combined with at least 5 days of annual leave is clearly insufficient and not consistent with HR’s own survey conclusions where an overwhelming majority of colleagues has expressed the wish to continue to work from home several days a week.
Other equivalent international organisations, such as the OECD, foresee regular or occasional teleworking for up to 80 working days per calendar year outside the country where staff carry out their duties.
The best work pattern is that which encourages efficiency based on flexibility, and flexibility based on real trust with guarantees. A results-oriented philosophy strengthens motivation and efficiency. HR’s current proposal that staff should unilaterally place their trust in their managers, without the latter being required to justify their decisions, is not fitting of a caring and modern administration.
Based on the above, and taking into account:
• Principles of modern management
• Compliance with the Staff Regulations and due account that this proposal triggers no impact on the allocations (e.g. expatriation/foreign residence/annual travel)
We hereby ask the following for the European Commission staff members:
UP TO 60 + 5 WORKING DAYS OF TELEWORK FROM ABROAD PER YEAR
* Up to 5 working days per month
* Up to a maximum of 60 days of telework from abroad working days per year not combined with annual leave
* An additional 5 working days max combined with annual leave
* Clause for these rules to be reviewed after 1 year, to take account of the evolution of the COVID 19
*The world pandemic is not over yet. The Principle of precaution would require a reassessment with sufficient perspective.
TAO, The Independents