The annual medical check-up: the ‘new normal’

We start with some context: the annual medical check-up, that obligation that is not generally enforced, is done by only around 1/3 of staff [1]. Why might this be? Well, cost is an issue: while the check-up itself and associated laboratory tests are normally reimbursed at 100%, anything stemming from that check-up (‘diagnostic examinations’ or ‘additional treatments’, for examples) will be reimbursed in the normal way (85% up to set ceilings which may or may not correspond to reality, we hear you Luxembourg [2]). Continue reading The annual medical check-up: the ‘new normal’

More than 12 days of annual leave remaining from 2022?

*Deadline is Tuesday 31 January 2023*

*18.01.2023, we are deeply disappointed to see that the sysper automation has not (yet) happened. Please don’t miss out! Request those days! We have written an updated note for HR asking for their estimated timeline for this agreed automation.*

Dear colleagues, we wish you a happy and healthy start to 2023 and ask for your help! We are unable to verify whether our requested sysper change has been implemented.  If you were off sick for 20 work days or more as one absence in 2022 then you are entitled to transfer all of your annual leave (yes, >12 days, in this specific case it is a right), can you please check whether the days have been added to your 2023 quota (automation, yipee!) or whether the usual temporary button is present in sysper? If the button is there then please use it: it expires 31.01.2023 and it then becomes more complicated (but not impossible!) to recover these days. Continue reading More than 12 days of annual leave remaining from 2022?

End of year checklist: December 2022

We encourage you to rest and to recharge your batteries during the end-of-year days: this is not an opportunity to get work done!  Please, as far as you can, switch off your devices, mute notifications and disconnect: take the time for you.  Why not already schedule your out-of-the-office message in Outlook today? It’s one thing you can score off your end-of-year ‘to do’ list. We present a list of suggestions here in no particular order. Please feel free to get in touch to add to this list if you’d like to share what works for you!

Continue reading End of year checklist: December 2022

Phone lines: the option exists!

Our manifesto wish  came true: we now have a direct phone number for HR to complement those which already exist for the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) and the Office for the Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements (PMO). Continue reading Phone lines: the option exists!

Incorrect Sysper sick leave warning message: you asked, we acted!

Everyone knows the first 3 days of sick leave don’t require a certificate, right? If you are off for longer then yes, you need a certificate. Those first days can be used to wait and see whether you get better or even just to try to organise an appointment with your GP in order to have their opinion on your options: sometimes getting an appointment can take some time! So, yes, sick leave without a certificate which subsequently becomes sick leave with a certificate is not unusual ( 3 days without + x days with = good). Though note that the medical service can still check in with you as they wish. Continue reading Incorrect Sysper sick leave warning message: you asked, we acted!

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 Continue reading First impressions last: Generation 2004 steps in

Let’s talk about resilience at work

Have you experience a traumatic event and found yourself having to return to work before you were quite 100%? Have you had difficulties in completing a project and to meet the deadline? When we talk about resilience, we’re talking about the ability to cope with the ups and downs of life and bounce back from challenges. In a workplace setting, this can be about the ability to manage anything from a tough workload to frustrating colleagues, or even to changing the working environment. Continue reading Let’s talk about resilience at work

It happened to me! Schrödinger’s reimbursement

We asked you to send us your stories and here is the first one. A Colleague was diagnosed with a precancerous lesion. Although probably benign, it was growing quickly, showing micro calcifications, opacities, ragged edges, and highly heterogeneous appearance. The doctors concluded that it must be removed as soon as possible as it could easily become a malignant tumour (if that was not already the case) especially considering the colleague’s age group. Continue reading It happened to me! Schrödinger’s reimbursement

We live and work in a burnout culture (long read)

*Update 11.10.2022 check out The relationship between loneliness and health, JRC129972.* What is the state of burnout these days amongst our colleagues? Do we know what proportion of us are feeling burnt out? What is it to be burned out? Where are we on this topic? What help is available? Are there any negatives to seeking help?

Burnout was already a problem prior to COVID 19: so much so that in 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon and conceptualized it as a syndrome: Z73.0 Burn-out State of vital exhaustion: a result of chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Continue reading We live and work in a burnout culture (long read)

Brussels annual medical check-up: never going back to normal?

*Update 26.01.2023 CSC plenary: only around 1/3 of all staff do the annual medical. Note, this is obligatory but not enforced.*

*Update 16.01.2023 Brussels medical service is moving towards colleagues doing their annual check-up via their GP. Contact them for the paperwork in advance to ensure that the visit is reimbursed as an annual check-up (100%) and not as a standard reimbursement (85%). *

*Update 11.10.2022 Covid booster II campaign is starting soon (again medical service in Brussels and national authorities elsewhere) and flu vaccine is already available on some sites*

The Medical Service Brussels resumed its task of annual medical check-ups in June 2022, albeit in a very limited way.  Any staff not in ‘high-risk professions’ must go via their own doctor, with a corresponding ceiling of €45 (100% reimbursement) for that visit. This raises questions on efficiency: how much paperwork does this generate? Continue reading Brussels annual medical check-up: never going back to normal?