R&D welcomes the presentation of the new draft Commission Decision on telework and thanks Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva for the implementation of her policy of modernisation of working condi­tions.

Indeed, to restore confidence and motivation of staff, it is essential to move from promises to action.

Major progress…

Yet, in this draft, telework becomes a recognized right for all Commission officials and is no longer a voluntary scheme, whose implementation in each DG depends entirely on the goodwill of superiors.

This is undeniable progress.

There are two types of telework: structural and occasional.

More flexibility is further introduced into the structural telework because it will be possible to plan over two weeks a scheme of 2 days the first week and 3 days on the second or vice-versa.

Concerning occasional telework, instead of a maximum 30 days per year, the draft decision provides for doubling this ceiling (60 days a year). Normally, this working formula may not exceed 2.5 days per week, but, by way of derogation, it will be possible to telework beyond 2.5 days in special cases.

R&D negotiating tracks …

In the negotiations for the adoption of the draft decision, R&D will ensure that these flexibility devices do not become a tool for OIB enabling itself, in its buildings policy, to save square meters of buildings with the imposition of open space and hot-desking. Similarly, R&D will also ensure that these devic­es are not a management tool for the medical service, enabling it to use them in certain situations. Teleworking should remain a tool at the service of col­leagues.

… the need and the urgency to ensure harmonised implementation across the DG’s …

However, progress under the draft presented to the unions as well as those R&D expects to obtain during the negotiation, might remain purely virtual if in future, services continue to interpret and apply the rules to suit each Director General or member of the management team, according to his or her beliefs and even whims, inventing his or her own staff policy. This, against a background of  a Directorate-General in charge of Human Resources that has now completely abdicated pits role and has been unable to ensure any harmonisation of practices, to face reality in the DG’s and to give an ade­quate response to justified complaints from colleagues.

In this case, as in all others relating to the management of staff, to end the current cacophony, R&D asks the Vice-President to ensure that DG HR finally recovers its mission of guardian of the Staff Regulations ensuring the uniformity and fairness of their implementation within our institution.

* Except for specific functions such as public reception, drivers, security guards, nurses, and people working in the delegations that depend on the decision of EEAS on telework.