Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Flexible Work Practices
191. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will outline the progress on blended working arrangements across the Civil Service to support Government policy to move to 20% remote home working; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32353/22]
You will be aware that the Government has committed in the Programme for Government to mandating public sector employers to move to 20% home and remote working.
In the case of the Civil Service, remote working will be facilitated into the future on a blended basis, with the aim of achieving the Programme for Government goal. In this context, my Department, in collaboration with Civil Service employers, Trade Unions and Staff Associations, has developed a Blended Working Policy Framework for Civil Service Organisations.
The Framework focuses on the longer-term approach to remote working in the Civil Service and will assist in providing a consistent approach across the wider public service. The Framework supports commitments contained in a number of strategies which this Government has launched. These include the National Remote Working Strategy, Our Rural Future, the Climate Action Plan and the National Planning Framework.
I, along with Minister of State Smyth, published the Framework on 31 March. The Framework provides broad strategic direction to individual organisations in the Civil Service to develop tailored policies on blended working that are appropriate to their business needs. Departments and Offices are currently developing their own blended working policies and it is anticipated that these policies will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
In developing their own blended working policies, Civil Service Departments and Offices will have the flexibility to determine matters such as the proportion of time individual employees work remotely versus onsite and those roles that are suitable for blended working.
Access to blended working by civil servants will be dependent on Departments and Offices having the ability to meet the needs of the business. Remote working will not be available to employees on a 100 percent basis as some physical attendance at workplaces will be required to facilitate face-to-face meetings, training and other key events deemed necessary by the employer.