First impressions last: Generation 2004 steps in

*Update 03.01.2023 (belated) thanks to the colleagues who pointed out that medical part-time is sick leave and not a work pattern.[1]* Generation 2004 succeeds: personal and sensitive information is no longer visible in sysper applications. Imagine sitting in an interview and knowing that the panel can see your phased returns to work (medical part-time) on page 2 of your application when your eCV starts on page 3. Why is this health-related data even included? It puts panels and candidates in an awkward position: everyone involved in the interview has personal data of the candidate in front of them that is potentially detrimental to that person’s candidature; data no one can mention or ask about and that cannot be used in decision-making.

The inclusion of this sensitive information might even be grounds for a subsequent appeal: it is an (albeit unintentional) invitation for anyone reading the candidate’s application to go no further. How can colleagues affected be sure that their candidature was judged on merit and not on their perceived health status or previous attendance record? This is especially relevant when distributing a valuable and limited resource such as certification.

We brought this issue to the attention of HR on behalf of a colleague in March 2022: this unnecessary sharing of information is a problem in terms of data protection and potential discrimination. The colleague has now informed us that the career history included in the application package no longer includes the column that previously listed medical part time (‘extra info’).  This change appears to be retrospective i.e. anyone looking at previous applications in sysper will also be unable to see the work pattern information column. While multiple rows/entries for the same grade and level can be interpreted as changing work patterns these are not necessarily linked to health and so medical part-time is put on the same footing as other types of part-time such as time-credit leave [2].

We thank HR for fixing this issue and our colleague for bringing this to us!

If there is something that affects you and makes you think ‘that shouldn’t happen!’ then get in touch with us. Generation 2004 will assist you with the information and the tools you need to enforce your rights, just as we did with colleagues being ‘volunteered’ for standby duty and a colleague denied access to their own medical file.

As always, we would love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us or leave a comment below.

If you appreciate our work, please consider becoming a member of Generation 2004.

[1] ‘Medical part-time is not a part-time work formula but a sick leave of less than 100%. For more information, please read the Commission’s decision on absences as a result of sickness or accident.’ (Staff Matters)

[2] Note that, in spite of its name, this can be used as a means to ‘purchase’ additional days of leave.


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