New HR strategy

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’

DG GROW: Reorganisation? Maladministration? Or how to pave the way for…what?

Our institution as well as our working and private lives have, in the recent past, undergone substantial change. So much so that the word reorganisation stopped soliciting any surprise. We are used to it and it happens everywhere and at reasonably regular intervals, such as before the arrival of a new Commission or Cabinets: the outgoing one might look to perhaps reshuffle things in order to accommodate their loyal staff within the services of the Commission. Continue reading DG GROW: Reorganisation? Maladministration? Or how to pave the way for…what?

High time for the Commission to show flexibility!

*Update 14.12.2022 list of buildings closed Dec/Jan* We, the Commission staff, have shown (and continue to show) outstanding flexibility, especially during the recent crises: whether that’s the pandemic and the lockdowns, war in Ukraine, energy resources or skyrocketing inflation. In spite of all this and the exceptional workload these crises created for many DGs, staff made every possible effort to continue to deliver business continuity in the interest of the European people we serve.  Continue reading High time for the Commission to show flexibility!

Use it or lose it at the Commission

*Update 03.01.2023, please don’t give up your >12 days of  annual leave!* *Update 18.11.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year.* Use your own allocated desk as much as possible, or you might find yourself soon in hot-desking (or as the Commission calls it, a ‘dynamic’ environment). In fact, this non-optimal use of workstations was the reasoning used as a basis to move colleagues to hot-desking environments of the most extreme type – large open-plan office space with no assigned desks, where furniture, individual storage space and quiet rooms are reduced to the bare minimum. Continue reading Use it or lose it at the Commission

Follow-up survey on teleworking utility bills

*Update 09.01.2023: he original survey had >1200 participants, this follow-up is not yet half way, please help to make this comparison survey representative! We need you!* As promised in October, we ask you to participate in this, our follow-up survey on the utility costs related to working from home in order to make a comparison with the answers you provided to our original survey (January 2021 – January 2022). We want to demonstrate any further change in costs: our first survey related to an expected increase in the consumption of energy but the issue now is related to Continue reading Follow-up survey on teleworking utility bills

Don’t forget to use your 10 days of teleworking from outside the place of employment!

If you still haven’t used up all your days of teleworking from anywhere (TWA) do not forget to file the request in Sysper as soon as possible. We have no information on any extension to the end-of-year deadline (the 2021 days could be used until 15.01.2022) and so conclude that there is unlikely to be any extension: best to use the 2022 quota of days rather than lose them! Continue reading Don’t forget to use your 10 days of teleworking from outside the place of employment!

Reimbursement of teleworking expenses: the Court says ‘no’

Here is the update on Court case T-486/21 promised in our article on whether working from home can truly be considered voluntary. We noted there that the Court rejected the application made by one of our colleagues for reimbursement of teleworking-related internet and phone costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic (judgment 07/09/2022). We’ve been raising the issue of additional teleworking costs for over 2 years now and even though all OSPs succeeded in having this issue explicitly mentioned in the  Commission Decision of 24/03/2022 on working time and hybrid working (Article 13) we see the Commission is increasingly reluctant to act. Continue reading Reimbursement of teleworking expenses: the Court says ‘no’

Commission to respect expected salary adjustment for some, but not for all

*Update 03.11.2022: Eurostat has published the final figures on the increase for Commission staff in its report.* Against the backdrop of increasing prices and rising inflation and during a period that is, for many staff, the summer break, the Council requested the Commission analyse how to further cut expenditure on staff, asking for a response by the end of September 2022. The Council was specifically targeting the salary updates intended to address inflation. Continue reading Commission to respect expected salary adjustment for some, but not for all

Winter is coming – and with it come new guidelines on workwear for the office

*Update 18.11.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year.* *Check out the 16.11.2022 video explaining the heating system* If you have not already experienced them yourself over the summer, you all have by now at least heard some rumours. ‘Which  rumours?’, you ask, there are so many! Is it the one about the reopening of the staff regulations? No. The payment of the lump sum mentioned it the Working Time and Hybrid Working Decision (WTHW)? No, but we admire your optimism. The rumours about switching off the heating? Yes! That’s the one! The most recent pilot project[1] of the Commission:  the measures to reduce both the energy consumption and the overall costs of Commission buildings. Continue reading Winter is coming – and with it come new guidelines on workwear for the office

All at home! Will the Commission (again) close buildings?

*Update 14.12.2022 many buildings will be closed between Christmas and New Year. Here is a list. Here is  how to find and book a desk.* In August 2022 we asked whether working from home could really be considered voluntary, given the general reduction in office space across the Commission and the closure of many buildings for several weeks over the summer as part of the Buildings Energy Saving Together (BEST) Action. Well we can now add to that list  the plan to lower temperatures in the buildings still in use. BEST was to save energy by powering down ventilation and air conditioning. The staff normally based in these ‘volunteered’ buildings (again, who volunteers each building?) could either telework 100% from the place of employment or find a desk in another building. We repeatedly asked for details on provision made for staff with specialist equipment e.g. those with disabilities or additional needs, but received no clear response on this other than that staff can work from home. Continue reading All at home! Will the Commission (again) close buildings?