Teleworking from abroad is an hot subject for many of us especially now that holydays are approaching. Some of the questions raised are: can I make use of this possibility? For how many days? Under which conditions?

DG HR met the Staff Committee recently to clarify some aspects of this option offered by the new Decision on working Time and Hybrid Working.

These are the main alternatives to apply for teleworking from abroad:

  1. 10 days per year for each staff member. To take those days, you only need to agree with your manager on the dates.  There is no more obligation to combine this with annual leave. You can telework from everywhere, not necessarily from your place of origin. Just make sure that you have a good connection.
  2. 1 month (renewable) for exceptional circumstances. This option is conditional on health or family problems. Some examples: joining your spouse living in another country or taking care of old parents is not considered as an exceptional circumstance. However, a sudden change in the health of old parents entailing an evolution or an event where your presence is needed (i.e. an arrangement should be put in place) then this is considered as an exceptional circumstance. For that you need to provide a medical report. Another example could be to accompany a child when changing school in another country due to special difficulties. These are just two examples. There can be more. DG HR will evaluate these exceptional circumstances.
  3. Personal health issues. In case you have health problems and you have been given the possibility to telework 100% for that reason, then you can also choose to telework from abroad. For that, you need to have a medical report recognising your need for teleworking at 100% and then ask your service to allow you to telework outside the place of employment.
  4. Request from your service to work on urgent issues. If you are on holyday and your service asks you to work on something urgent, then you can telework from abroad. This is in conformity with the greening strategy of the Commission to avoid taking a flight or other means of transport mean to go back to the office.

Union Syndicale welcomed these clarifications by DG HR that will make easier for colleagues to understand their rights in this area.

Union Syndicale reminded to the representative of DG HR its letter to Mrs Ingestad about some Commission services that are preventing their staff to telework for more than two days a week. In this letter Union Syndicale called for immediate action to stop this incorrect application of the Decision, to immediately establish guidelines for the implementation of teleworking rules and to appoint the Committee for working time and Hybrid Work, in order to ensure a harmonised application of teleworking rules throughout the Commission.

Union Syndicale will follow up the application of the Decision. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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