Teleworking

Return to the office well out of sight

As we have done since the very beginning of the COVID‑19 pandemic, we at Generation 2004 continue to closely monitor developments and their repercussions on our working conditions, as well as the health and well-being of staff. In November we participated in two Social Dialogue meetings with DG Human Resources and Security (DG HR) to discuss all the issues pertinent to the health emergency.

Continue reading Return to the office well out of sight

Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Following the announcement by Commissioner Hahn and DG HR of a move to help staff equip their home offices, many of you contacted Generation 2004 to enquire about the two different schemes mentioned. Yes, you read that correctly, the Commission has set up one scheme for the (partial) reimbursement of a screen and an office chair (purchase deadline 31 December [1]) and is developing a more comprehensive second scheme for 2021.

Generation 2004 was pleased that the Commission is at last taking steps in the direction we have been advocating for since the start of the COVID‑19 crisis: support staff under the compulsory teleworking arrangements by improving ergonomics at home.

Continue reading Home-office equipment dilemma: zero clarity

Teleworking from abroad: Survey results are out

Generation 2004 asked you for your opinion on this topic in a 10-question survey over 5 weeks October-November 2020 and 1 500 of you responded. The short answer to our question of whether you want to be able to telework from abroad is a resounding ‘YES!’: 93% (1 393) of those who responded would like to have that option available.

Though it must be noted that there are several different versions of ‘yes’ proposed and it was possible to select more than one of them: Yes, for a limited period like summer, Christmas etc./Yes, in exceptional situations like COVID‑19./Yes, permanently.

Continue reading Teleworking from abroad: Survey results are out

Things to check before holidays start (Tips)

Although at the moment you are most probably in full trying-to-find-one-last-gift mode (good luck with that!), there are perhaps some other things worth checking before your well-deserved Christmas and New Year holiday leave.

If you meet the criteria, submit your request to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as it is available: the deadline is 15 January 2021. Continue reading Things to check before holidays start (Tips)

Finally – reimbursement of teleworking costs

Yes, we can! This is the bottom line of this article. Yes, we can convince the Commission to do the right thing, even if it takes a lot of pressure (and more pressure) and  notes (and more notes). After many discussions and meetings, DG HR has agreed in its Coronavirus update #23 to reimburse the costs for a screen and an ergonomic chair with ceilings of €150 and €200, respectively. While the reimbursement process has only just been set out [1] (and for seconded national experts (SNEs) is still being worked on [2]), this is a huge win for our colleagues, and we take the opportunity to thank all of you who have supported us during the last 8 months while we fought this uphill battle. A special thanks goes to the colleagues who used our template to request a reimbursement. While DG HR has refused these Art. 90.1 requests, the sheer number of them proved that there is a real need. This is your victory.

Continue reading Finally – reimbursement of teleworking costs

Do you want to be able to telework from outside your place of employment?

You have shown that teleworking is possible, but do you want more of it and are you being consulted? [1]

Article 20 of the Staff Regulations stipulates that ‘An official shall reside either in the place where he is employed or at no greater distance therefrom as is compatible with the proper performance of his duties. The official shall notify the Appointing Authority of his address and inform it immediately of any change of address.’

Therefore, the outcome of any future teleworking decisions might affect us all. These choices could  impact everything from the multiannual financial framework (MFF) to the European Green Deal, to all 6 pillars of the new HR strategy to the money you take home every month: the 16 % expatriation allowance / 4% foreign residence allowance and potentially the coefficient (if any) that applies to your salary.   Continue reading Do you want to be able to telework from outside your place of employment?

COVID-19: Return to office put on hold

Generation 2004 continues to closely monitor the developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on our institution and our working conditions. In the last two weeks we have had two meetings with DG HR to discuss all the issues related to the pandemic and the way forward. Generation 2004 stated that the return should only happen when the pandemic situation improved: when there was a lower possibility of contagion. Continue reading COVID-19: Return to office put on hold

New teleworking guidelines and teleworking from abroad: here we go again!

In our July newsletter we informed you of our actions to guarantee fair and consistent application of the new teleworking guidelines throughout the Commission, especially as regards the possibility of 2 weeks of teleworking from outside the place of employment [1].

We wrote a note to DG FISMA concerning their overly strict interpretation of the rules, and received a positive reply to our request.

However, we decided to ask for your feedback – both in that article and through an email sent to all our members – on the procedures in place where you are and on the outcome of your request.

As a result, we were flooded with messages stressing the very different procedures and layers of approvals necessary to be granted these 2 weeks of teleworking in different DGs and different parts and sites of the Commission. Continue reading New teleworking guidelines and teleworking from abroad: here we go again!

Summer teleworking from abroad at DG FISMA

Following Generation 2004’s constructive note to Mr John BERRIGAN, Director-General of DG FISMA, on a too strict interpretation of the DG HR rule allowing teleworking from your “home country” during the summer period , we are glad to inform that DG FISMA has decided to change its position, something we very much appreciated.

In a message recently circulated to FISMA’s staff, a restriction not intended by the general DG HR policy was introduced: Continue reading Summer teleworking from abroad at DG FISMA

Watch out! Updated teleworking guidelines coming on 22 June

Updated Commission teleworking guidelines (replacing the previous version of these rules) were announced by DG HR on 16 June in the  Communication to Commission staff – Update 15 and come into force from Monday 22 June 2020. The guidelines document is published in the MyIntracomm Coronavirus and COVID-19 News & Helpdesk page. Continue reading Watch out! Updated teleworking guidelines coming on 22 June