If you check out your holiday entitlements for 2011 in SysPer2, you will find them listed in a modified order, although the overall number of days of ‘leave entitlement’ remains unchanged. If you are expatriate staff you might also find a new menu option under “choose absence type” (besides ‘annual leave’ and ‘special leave’) which reads ‘travelling time’, when introducing a leave request. Your rights and their make-up remain unchanged overall. However, the administration in its “wisdom” decided to administratively separate the normal annual leave from the travelling time, in contrast to the previous simpler formula. The background of this decision is to ‘clarify’ that travelling time cannot be carried over at the end of a calendar year, nor financially compensated.
This ‘minor’ administrative amendment (which has a heavy impact for our colleagues GECOs / leave managers who have to handle this) has caused some confusion. In fact, R&D received numerous questions from colleagues as to whether they were going to lose their travelling time, whether they could use these days only to travel to their home country, or whether they would have to submit travel proof to obtain travelling time.
The answer to all these questions is ‘NO’
- R&D informs you that can take your travelling time for normal holiday purposes, under the condition that you introduce your request together with at least ½ a day of ‘annual leave’. No proof will be required, nor are you obliged to travel to your home country.
- R&D recommends that you introduce your ‘travelling time’ with your first leave request(s) of the year, in order quite simply not to forget about this new feature.
- R&D demands that DG HR inform all expatriate staff about the new procedure.
- R&D demands to follow best practice in other EU Institutions and that DG HR reverse this unclear procedure that was not raised during the concertations with trade unions on new rules for leave;
- R&D in the meantime demands clear reassurances by DG HR to the effect that there are no implications whatsoever on expatriate staff’s leave entitlements.