disability and special needs

The ‘new normal’: is this it?

*Update 20.07.2021: Check out the MyIntracomm discussion below Towards more attractive and flexible working conditions: Staff working arrangements: major changes in the pipeline*

The Working time and hybrid working decision sets out the proposed ‘new normal’ with an invitation to discuss this with the trade unions and staff associations (OSPs) in a social dialogue on 30 June. Here are the current Working time and flexitime rules  and their corresponding frequently asked questions (FAQs) for comparison. Continue reading The ‘new normal’: is this it?

Follow up on the option to work 95% for family reasons

Image by Gerd Altmann from PixabayFollowing the publication of our article on the option to work 95% for family reasons last October, Generation 2004 is happy to announce that there has been positive progress made on this subject.

From now on a 5% working time reduction will be systematically granted upon request when any of the three conditions apply: Continue reading Follow up on the option to work 95% for family reasons

Medical coverage for disabled staff

EU staff members and their families are covered by a sickness insurance scheme, known as the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (‘JSIS’). In October 2015, following a review conducted under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘UNCRPD’), the UN Committee recommended that the European Union should revise the JSIS so as to comprehensively cover disability-related health needs in a manner compliant with the Convention.

This inquiry focused primarily on the criteria used by the JSIS for the recognition of “serious illnesses” in relation to disabilities. This issue has important implications for persons with disabilities since medical costs are fully reimbursed only if the illness being treated is classified as “serious”. Continue reading Medical coverage for disabled staff

Generation 2004 deals with harassment

Workplace bullying/harassment/‘mobbing’ is a complex matter. What one person considers as proper behavior, another may perceive to be harassment. In many cases, the lines are not sharply defined. Harassment can take various forms, such as: degrading comments (often in public), offensive behavior, refusal to communicate, neglect, excluding someone or threatening remarks.

So, how to know whether a situation in the EU workplace is harassment? According to the Staff Regulations, Article 12a: harassment is ‘any improper conduct that takes place over a period, is repetitive or systematic and involves physical behaviour, spoken or written language, gestures or other acts that are intentional and that may undermine the personality, dignity or physical or psychological integrity of any person.’ Note that with this definintion anyone can be the target of bullying behaviour and that we all have the right to work without harassment.  We mention this since it is often perceived that the term ‘harassment’ covers only ‘protected characteristics’ e.g. gender/pregnancy/sexual orientation/religion/age/disability/family status and that if a person has none of these then that person cannot be harassed. Continue reading Generation 2004 deals with harassment

Generation 2004 & support for colleagues with cancer

Did you know that new research finds that, from now 1 in 2[1] people will be diagnosed with cancer? This new estimate replaces the previous 1 in 3 people figure. In the period 2014 to 2025, the yearly number of new invasive tumour diagnoses (excl. nonmelanoma skin cancer) in Belgium is projected to rise from 67,820 to 79,140, an increase of about 17%[2]. In 2015, 1.3 million people died from cancer in the EU, more than one quarter (25.4 %) of the total number of deaths.[3]

That being said it is also promising that e.g. in the UK’s cancer survival has doubled over the last 40 years and around half of patients now survive the disease for more than 10 years. But, as more people benefit from improved healthcare and longer life expectancy, the number of cancer cases is expected to rise.[4] However, there are always the side effects of any treatment that someone is exposed to: operation, chemo, radio, immunotherapy, pills…. Continue reading Generation 2004 & support for colleagues with cancer

Generation 2004 & actions for our colleagues with disability

The UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities sets out the legal obligations on States to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The European Union signed the Convention in 2010. It is legally binding. In the 2016 staff survey, about 6% of all Commission staff declared having long-standing health issues or a disability that affects their daily activities.

The Commission’s policy on disability was an essential concern for Generation 2004 and we were active in this regard at different levels. Especially, through the current Local Staff Committee (LSC) Brussels of which the President is a Generation 2004 member. Continue reading Generation 2004 & actions for our colleagues with disability

Generation 2004’s action on mobility in the Brussels region

Generation 2004, through the Brussels Local Staff Committee (LSC) (Łukasz Wardyn, the President of the LSC is one of our members), is actively pushing for improvements in the mobility situation in Brussels. Brussels is one of the most polluted cities in Europe and traffic jams have become more or less permanent during the past decade. The LSC organised an extensive consultation on mobility via a conference with Brussels Mobility Minister Pascal Smet and several splinter sessions that took place at the end of November 2017. The Commission is preparing its future mobility plan, as requested by the Brussels authorities. In this context, it is important that the Commission listens to the concerns of staff as expressed in the Position of the Brussels Local Staff Committee regarding future of the mobility in Region Brussels-Capital: the perspective and recommendations of the Commission’s staff recently approved by the Local Staff Committee, LSC, click here. Continue reading Generation 2004’s action on mobility in the Brussels region