Telecommuting for civil servants, but without regulations and with doubts about the provision of equipment: this is what we know

Officials will be able to return to work remotely at least three days a week, but they will do so through the plan for energy saving and efficiency of the General State Administration (AGE) that the Ministry of Finance is preparing, and not through the decree that the unions agreed with this same ministerial department months ago, and whose publication has been delayed on several occasions for different reasons, as we already explained in Engadget.

Under what conditions? The teleworking that the Treasury now proposes will be governed by the same conditions that the unions have already agreed with the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function on April 12, 2021, according to the Central Independent Trade Union and Civil Servants (CSIF). Namely: three days a week (with some exceptions), voluntary and reversible, only for those positions that can be performed remotely and with computer equipment and internet connection provided by the AGE.

However, that initial agreement has undergone some variations in its more than a year of journey through the desert. As we already explained in Xataka, the Treasury introduced an additional provision in the draft of the royal decree on the teleworking of officials by which it gave the State Administration room until December 31, 2023 to provide the necessary equipment and connections for work to distance from your employees.

personal computers. Both the unions and several officials already explained to Xataka last January that there were not a few public employees who were being forced to use personal resources (equipment and WiFi) to be able to telework. As they explained, it was the only alternative offered by the Administration if they wanted to work from home due to the lack of resources to provide all of them with computers and an Internet connection at the moment.

Of course, in some cases the Administration had been able to provide the necessary equipment and connections to some officials, explained unions, workers and the Treasury itself. The disparity in the distribution of computers and data cards was due, they pointed out, to the different budgets that each department handled to tender the purchase of the material.

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The savings are paid by the officials. In this way, if as CSIF explains The teleworking conditions of the savings plan are the same as those already included in the draft, some officials will continue to have to use their own resources to be able to work remotely, since the AGE gives itself a margin until 2024 to provide equipment and connections to all workers.

However, as the adoption of teleworking is voluntary, those officials who do not want to use their own equipment to work from home will be able to continue going to the office without problems.

Three days of teleworking… In principle. The original agreement of 2021 stated that the general modality of work from the entry into force of the decree would be three days of teleworking and two in the office, with one exception: officials who carry out their tasks in the emptied Spain they would only have to exercise in person 10% of their day.

The savings plan continues to contemplate the formula of three days of teleworking plus two in the office, but introduces another exception that was not contemplated in the draft of the royal decree: the reduction to two days of remote work and three face-to-face in those cases or occasions in which, due to work needs, it is required that the official spend more hours in the AGE facilities.

A “patch” for unions. From CSIF they have described the introduction of teleworking in the savings plan of the State Administration as a “patch” to a situation that at this point should already be resolved with the publication and implementation of the royal decree on teleworking for civil servants.

The union has also reported that all the details of the teleworking of the officials will be known in the coming days, perhaps this Friday, since the Government plans to take it to the Council of Ministers shortly to approve it as soon as possible. Then it will be known if any other modification has been applied, apart from those that were communicated to the workers’ representatives and that they made public.

CSIF has also announced that the Treasury has given them a new date for the approval and implementation of the royal decree on teleworking for civil servants: autumn 2022.

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Telecommuting for civil servants, but without regulations and with doubts about the provision of equipment: this is what we know

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by Pablo Rodriguez.

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