Update on our September petition to stop the obligatory return to the office

Latest update 24/11/2021: Work Done!!!  (quote from DG HR communication: “…the minimum presence of one day per week will for now be only on a voluntary basis…”)

Please add your signature! We already have more than 1000 signatures to our September petition in support of our note to Mr Hahn. We sounded the alarm concerning the premature push to Phase 3 of the Tentative plan for gradual return to the office before the worries and issues voiced by staff were addressed.

In light of the most recent changes in the very fluid Covid situation of restrictions, recommendations, strong recommendations and obligations, we invite HR to urgently acknowledge and address the difference between the new teleworking guidelines (Edition 12, valid from 22.11.2021) and the most recent communication from the Consultative Committee of the Belgian National Crisis Centre (17.11.2021).

1. ‘…on 20 November 2021, the Commission adapted the current Phase 3 by introducing four days per week of mandatory telework, except for critical staff whose presence in the office is essential.’

4.1 a ‘All staff except in cases listed under point b) have the obligation to come to the office one day per week (one full day or two half-days).’ (teleworking guidelines)


Mandatory teleworking: Teleworking will be mandatory in the private sector and in all public administrations, unless this is not possible due to the nature of the role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations. One return day to the office per staff member per week will be possible. From 13 December, the number of return days to the office will be increased to a maximum of two per member of staff. This should help reduce the number of contacts, including on public transport. (Belgian National Crisis Centre)

As you can see 1 day presence in office before 13 December and 2 days after that date is allowed by the Belgian authorities, but not obligatory. DG HR, on the other hand  is requiring a minimum of 1 day presence (obligation).

While we fully understand and support the need for many to go back to the office, we remind the Commission of its oft-stated obligation to follow the national authorities on all things Covid e.g. restrictions, certifications, vaccinations and travel.

For any other questions do not hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment below.

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