COVID-19

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?

COVID-19: The latest on the digital certificate, vaccination and more

According to the data provided by DG HR in the latest information meeting on 11 June 2021 and on intranet updates: the EU Digital Covid Certificate will become available with legal effects in all EU Member States as of 1 July 2021, although some might start issuing it earlier: for example, Luxembourg  started issuing it on 14 June, Belgium on 16 June [1] and Italy from the end of June. Some travel rules will also change as of 1 July 2021 (but no exemption from  PCR tests). There’s an online information session from the medical services together with DG SANTE on Tuesday 22 June lunchtime via EULearn. Continue reading COVID-19: The latest on the digital certificate, vaccination and more

Teleworking from abroad: YES, WE CAN!

Who said teleworking from outside the place of employment (TWA) [1] cannot be reconciled with the interest of the service and our duty to serve the public?

Generation 2004, the most progressive and modern staff association, is always listening to the needs of staff and negotiating the most advanced proposals for a state-of-the-art and human EU civil service with the administration. Continue reading Teleworking from abroad: YES, WE CAN!

Get ready: the return to the office is starting in June

At last, on Wednesday evening (19.05.2021) HR announced a date for the start of operation ‘return to the office’: from Wednesday 9 June onwards the Commission anticipates moving from phase 0 to phase 1. In practice, this means that while teleworking will remain the norm, staff will be encouraged to go to the office, still on a voluntary basis. The maximum presence in the buildings – to be complied with at all time – will be raised to 20%. The canteen in the Berlaymont building will be reopened. Continue reading Get ready: the return to the office is starting in June

Reimbursement of the annual medical check-up during COVID

Under Article 59(6) of the Staff Regulations, staff are obliged to undergo a medical check-up every year either via the institution’s medical officer or by a medical practitioner chosen by them.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the medical service is closed for annual medicals for the foreseeable future, as is the in-house laboratory [1], so colleagues are left with no choice but to do their annual medical examination outside and then be reimbursed according to the standard Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS) reimbursement rate of 85% [2]. Continue reading Reimbursement of the annual medical check-up during COVID

Latest on COVID: vaccines a little behind initial estimates

Commissioner Hahn said in his video message (16.3.2021) that ‘we are all impatient to be free again’. At this stage, please allow me to modify his message and stress that ‘we are all impatient to be finally vaccinated’ (at least most of us). After 1 year of teleworking at home we are all fed up with this situation and cannot wait to resume a normal life. While entering the third wave, we are facing yet another lockdown. As most countries begin to tighten the restrictions, the vision of going to visit our loved ones over the Easter period seems to be vanishing. The pressure is high, our workload has increased, some of us at the brink of burnout, digital overload is a hard reality and some of us are worried about our family members in other Member States, which are currently fighting for their lives. Continue reading Latest on COVID: vaccines a little behind initial estimates

How do those outside the Union get reimbursed for PCR tests?

Generation 2004 is aware that sometimes colleagues are unsure which polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are eligible for reimbursement and which ones are not; especially with the upcoming Easter holiday.

Those covered by the Joint Sickness Insurance Scheme (JSIS): you can refer to the specific guidelines for detail for all cases, but, in short, PCR tests done by national authorities and approved laboratories can be reimbursed by the JSIS. Continue reading How do those outside the Union get reimbursed for PCR tests?

Teleworking from abroad before the Easter break

You asked, we listened! Many of you have contacted us recently to enquire about the possibility to telework from abroad before the Easter break [1], as was the case in summer 2020 and before Christmas (setting a precedent).

We at Generation 2004 reacted promptly to your requests by asking DG HR to allow this flexibility again. It was our previous requests on your behalf that resulted in the possibility to telework from abroad for 2 weeks in the summer and before the Christmas break: these requests were accepted and led to a well-deserved and very-much-appreciated flexibility for staff, after months of isolation and restrictions due to the measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading Teleworking from abroad before the Easter break

Latest news on COVID vaccination, teleworking and the right to disconnect

At Generation 2004 we continue to closely follow the development of all matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to voice your concerns and requests to the administration.

Here you find the most up-to-date information provided during the last meeting with DG HR devoted to COVID-19 (the 20th on the issue so far!) held 12 February 2021, complemented with that provided in communication update 30. Continue reading Latest news on COVID vaccination, teleworking and the right to disconnect

Digital overload and the right to disconnect: the Commission must act now!

As Commission staff, we are now approaching one full year of compulsory teleworking, with no clear prospects as to when we will be able to go back to the office. Many of you contacted us at Generation 2004 to share your concerns regarding what this ‘new way of working’ means in practice: sitting more hours in front of the computer, being forever reachable, reading emails at midnight Continue reading Digital overload and the right to disconnect: the Commission must act now!