MADRID – According to the independent trade union organisation for government officials CSIF, from October 1, civil servants in Spain will be allowed to work from home for a maximum of one day a week. However, in April, it was previously agreed with the unions that this would be three days.
CSIF finds it unacceptable the government is reversing this agreement because a safe return to the workplace is not guaranteed. The union, therefore, proposes a schedule of 40% physical presence and 60% working from home. This equates to 2 days on the work floor, and 3 days from home, even after the pandemic is over.
In the new resolution on telecommuting for civil servants, the Spanish government has included a number of exceptions. For example, the new rule does not apply to employees with cancer or an immunological disorder. It also does not apply to people in quarantine or employees from areas with a high infection rate. Also, employees who work abroad under certain circumstances.
Meeting at the office
According to the CSIF, the government has also included in the resolution that meetings should generally take place in the workplace or in a mixed-mode if necessary. However, the ban on business travel is lifted, although the preference remains for videoconferencing. In addition, courses, training, and job interviews should preferably continue to take place remotely.
What about the digital transition and CO2 emissions?
The union denounces the fact that the government shows no appreciation for the months-long teleworking of all civil servants whose services were guaranteed during that period. Moreover, the new schedule of four days to the office does not exactly meet the intended digital transition. Nor does it address the reduction in CO2 emissions, and the energy savings that the government considers so important.
CSIF President Miguel Borra, therefore, urges the Ministry of Finance and Public Functions to ‘immediately’ come to a new agreement that will remain in force after the pandemic, under normal circumstances.