Working conditions

Summer holiday checklist (Tips)

*Update 24.07.2023 Luxembourg national legislation now includes the right to disconnect, though the situation on the ground needs some work.* *For those of you who remain in the office keeping the Commission standing (thanks!), please check out the heatwave instructions for dealing with hot offices and the list of buildings to be temporarily closed under Buildings Energy Saving Together (BEST) 2023[1]. Read our related article on how these closures undermine the insistence that working from home is voluntary.*

With many of us now looking forward to enjoying some well-deserved leave over the summer, we remind you that annual leave is your time to do with as you will. It is not there for you to catch up on work still needing done, it is not there for you to ‘clear your feet’ with projects, it is not there for you to monitor what is or is not happening back in the office. Being reachable all of the time is draining, contributes to burnout and can allow bullying/harassment to continue round the clock and unabated. Take this time for you and leave the office behind! Continue reading Summer holiday checklist (Tips)

Another intermediate salary update – but beware the end of the year

We hope you had a positive surprise when looking at your June payslip; following the intermediate update last year (after decades without them), inflation is still so high that Eurostat’s calculations lead to a small update this year. While of course every little bit of help is welcome, the update value of 1.7% is clearly not enough to deal with the (still) sky-high inflation. Continue reading Another intermediate salary update – but beware the end of the year

Be aware of lost money for a pension transfer-in

*Update 09.08.2023 check out the unsuccessful attempt by colleagues to have a refund of the amount of pension rights not taken into account (04/05/2023 – KY v Cour de justice de l’UE Case C-100/22 P).* Original article: Are you (relatively) new in the institutions? Have you worked somewhere else before and acquired pension rights in another pension scheme? Then you have surely heard about the possibilities to transfer your pension rights from your previous scheme into the EU pension scheme, a so called “transfer-in”.

In an older article, we already informed you about the conversion coefficients that play a crucial role in determining how many years Continue reading Be aware of lost money for a pension transfer-in

End of service: informed decisions please!

So, the Commission is not what you expected and you’d like to leave at the end of your contract: you’re not looking for a renewal/extension. You don’t want to hang around to see whether you get the opportunity of working 6 years (plus a potential ‘unicorn’ year)[1] before having to leave the Commission, taking all of your knowledge and experience with you. If this is you, please discuss your situation with your line manager. Continue reading End of service: informed decisions please!

No EU allowances unless you first try elsewhere

It’s always nice to get financial support (e.g. family allowances), and some of us can get it from either our institution or a national authority.  While this is a fortunate situation, it is quite clear that you should not be paid twice for the same request, whether that is for your medical expenses or allowances for your children. The staff regulations are quite clear in this respect, and we all have to declare any allowances received from national sources (check out our IDOC article).

Continue reading No EU allowances unless you first try elsewhere

Have you been IDOC(ed)?

You have probably already asked yourself: What is IDOC? What is a difference between an administrative inquiry and disciplinary procedure? What are possible sanctions? Will I be treated fairly?

IDOC stands for Investigation and Disciplinary Office of the Commission [1]. (Nearly) everything that the IDOC does is secret. Continue reading Have you been IDOC(ed)?

Out-of-hours building access (fingerprints and lone working)

While we’re not enthusiastic about colleagues being in the office overnight or at the weekend, sometimes it might be necessary[1]. Nevertheless, we’d like those who do this to be safe.  On a practical note, please prepare: is your mobile charged, do you have it on you and is there generally a good enough signal? Does someone know where you are and when you expect to finish? If you were to get stuck somewhere or collapse while alone in the office at night, would you be able to call for help and to give your precise location? Continue reading Out-of-hours building access (fingerprints and lone working)

Meeting the Head of Cabinet: it’s all about the money

Here are the issues we  raised at the OSPs meeting with David Mueller, the Head of Commissioner Hahn’s (budget and administration) Cabinet (15.03.2023). We are all aware that we are reasonably consistently in a series of difficult situations which require additional financial resources and which put the EU Budget under pressure. But we did get an earworm during that meeting: Continue reading Meeting the Head of Cabinet: it’s all about the money

Evaluations of working time and hybrid working so far

It’s been a year since the implementation of the working time and hybrid working (WTHW) decision (entered into force 01.04.2022). The only official feedback sought during this time are the Pulse surveys of June 2022 and February 2023 (comparative) which show increasing satisfaction on  every single point measured, from flexible working overall to physical working arrangements in the office to impact on work-life balance and impact on trust within the organisation. Are you surprised? We were surprised. Continue reading Evaluations of working time and hybrid working so far

Lunchtime conference: the Picard case

*Update 23.06.2023: HR MyIntracomm article.* Do you want to know more about the recent Picard judgement C-366/21 P concerning Contract Agent (CA) pension rights? This case has repercussions on pension accrual and also on retirement age. We presented the different aspects of the judgement in this during our lunch-time conference. You can find the recorded video and the PowerPoint presentation  here.

Continue reading Lunchtime conference: the Picard case