A woman telecommuting from a hotel room in Moscow last November.Artyom Geodakyan / GETTY IMAGES
The Ministry of Public Function and Territorial Policy has reached an agreement with CSIF, CC OO, UGT and CIG to develop telework in the General State Administration, which will allow staff to work remotely voluntarily three days a week.
The remaining two days will be in person.
The agreement, signed this Monday after five months of negotiation, will potentially affect 230,395 people at the service of ministries, autonomous bodies and state agencies, among others.
According to the signed text, teleworking in the Administration will be voluntary and reversible and will always be subject to guaranteeing the face-to-face provision of services to citizens.
However, it may be authorized "forcibly" in exceptional situations of force majeure that imply a restriction of mobility, as happened last winter with the storm Filomena or during confinement.
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Once the normative agreement enters into force, each department, after negotiation with the unions, will carry out a preliminary study of the positions that can be carried out by teleworking according to the tasks.
For each position, work objectives will be identified and their fulfillment will be evaluated, according to general negotiated criteria, establishing a fixed schedule of availability and location.
The telework day will be the one that corresponds to each public employee in accordance with the work calendar and the instructions of the day and hours, and the existence of a fixed schedule of availability and location within the working day, as well as mechanisms of control for its fulfillment, such as the signing, and monitoring of the management and tasks entrusted to the previously set objectives.
This modality will not be applied to military personnel of the Armed Forces, State Security Forces and Bodies, personnel assigned to health establishments, educational centers or teaching support centers, or to judges, magistrates, prosecutors and other civil servants in the service. of the Administration of Justice.
These groups will be governed, where appropriate, by their specific regulations on teleworking.
In addition, for the first time in the history of the AGE, a system of access to telework will be established through public calls at least once a year.
This modality can also be accessed through permanent application management systems.
Applicants must be in active service and prove a minimum seniority of one year in the position and unit, without prejudice to the requirements that they must meet for the performance of the functions in this type of work, which must be public.
The authorization must require a prior report from the hierarchical superior and its refusal must be motivated, without the mere fulfillment of the requirements for access to the call presupposing the concession.
Same rights as face-to-face workers
The agreement reached between the Public Function and the unions guarantees equal rights for the teleworker of the Public Administration regarding the face-to-face modality, including remuneration, working time, training or professional career, in addition to the right to privacy and digital disconnection.
The Administration will have to provide the computer equipment with data cards and the applications, office automation and cybersecurity tools necessary for the remote work activity, together with the specific technical training, prevention of occupational risks (prevention of stress or social isolation) and data protection.
One of the main novelties contemplated in the agreement is the promotion of remote work to improve the coverage of services to citizens in emptied Spain, as well as in positions that are difficult to cover due to the high cost of living.
In these cases, a provision of face-to-face services of at least 10% per month may be established, so that 20 of 22 working days can be worked remotely.
In the access to telework in the Administration, the victims of gender violence, disability, other health reasons, or terrorism will also be taken into account.
The conditions for the provision of services under the teleworking modality for the applicant and the specific position will be included in a model of teleworking agreement, which must include the conditions for the provision of the service: sessions in remote and face-to-face format;
schedule of availability, tasks, objectives, evaluation criteria, location or duration of the authorization, reference to the causes of suspension and revocation, as well as the possible conditions for its extension, which will not exceed a maximum time of two years for the general modality.
The teleworking agreement may be the object of resignation or revocation and subject to modification, with the prior agreement of the parties.
In any case, the public employee must communicate any modification that occurs in their employment situation.
Improvement in conditions
The CSIF union has entered into the agreement considering that it considerably improves the working conditions of the workforce, guarantees equality in access, the objectivity of the criteria to be applied and transparency in management, the reduction of travel time or energy savings , and the improvement in the organization of work, guaranteeing in any case the provision of services to citizens.
The organization has ensured that it will continue to ensure that this agreement is implemented in all the departments of the State Administration.
The Federation of Public Services of UGT, for its part, has described the agreement as "historic", as it will allow to regulate telework in the Administration with "transparency, objectivity and stability".