Remote work / work desk / pexels

A new policy entering into force later this year will offer workers with the public service “full flexibility” to carry out their work beyond their formal office, on a regular basis.

The first Remote Working Policy for the Public Service, published on Thursday, will enter into force from 1st October 2021.

According to a statement released by the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary, a transition period of 18 months will allow time to shift from the existing teleworking system to the new remote working policy and enable the necessary changes in equipment and training to take place.

The policy, announced during Public Service Week 2021, follows a pilot project which started in 2019 and the COVID-19 outbreak.

It will make it possible to switch both individuals and entire sections and departments to work remotely.

The Remote Working Policy also introduces guidance to ensure professional standards in service provision, data protection, employee wellbeing and use of technological equipment, as well as to safeguard laws, policies and sectoral agreements currently in force.

The policy, the statement noted, will be embracing the principle of the right to disconnect, which has come under heavy criticism from entities representing business.

Specific training on both management and technological aspects will be provided by the Institute for Public Services to employees and head of departments, to increase access to the new system of operation.

The Remote Working Policy is available on the public service website.

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