Public employees already have basic teleworking conditions at the state level. The Ministry of Public Function has agreed on Monday the regulation of this modality of remote work for employees of the public sector, both civil servants and labor, in all Administrations: state, regional and local. In total, there are 3.2 million workers in the public sector in Spain, according to the INE. After obtaining the support of the unions and all the Administrations, the Government will “soon” translate the regulations into a royal decree-law that will include an article on teleworking in the Law of the Basic Statute of Public Employees (TREBEP).
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Minister Carolina Darias has stressed that this pact is a sign that “dialogue is still possible”, since it has managed to bring together both workers’ representatives and the set of Public Administrations of different sign. The unions CCOO, UGT and CSIF have signed the agreement, which they consider “guarantor” for workers’ rights, but they have demanded to immediately open the negotiation tables to specify the specific conditions of telework in each Administration.
Teleworking is considered “voluntary and reversible” in this basic regulation, which establishes the guarantee of “the same duties and rights, individual and collective”, of the employees who take advantage of remote work with respect to those who provide their services in the work centers.
In Public Function they emphasize that “the provision of distance service through the teleworking modality will not be considered as ordinary nor can it be absolute” and they explain that it will be each competent administration that determines how this provision of services can be combined with the minimum face-to-face work to be established. In the case of public employees of the General State Administration (AGE), the unions and the Public Function agreed a minimum of one day of face-to-face work. In any case, “teleworking may not imply any breach of the day and schedule”, highlights the Ministry.
The Public Administrations will provide and maintain “the technological means necessary for their activity”, highlights the text of the agreement, to which elDiario.es has had access. This aspect has been especially celebrated by the unions, who describe it as “achievement” in the negotiations with the representatives of the workforce.
The priority of providing face-to-face services to citizens is established over access to teleworking for employees. “The conceptualization of teleworking as a subjective right will be rejected, since without prejudice to its voluntariness, its use must be subject to guaranteeing the provision of public services, ensuring compliance with the needs of the service,” says the Ministry of Public Function.
New article on telework
These conditions will be set out in article 47 BUS of the Law of the Basic Statute of Public Employees, which defines teleworking as “that modality of remote service provision in which the competence content of the job can be developed, provided that the needs of the service allow it, outside the dependencies of the Administration, by means of the use of technologies of the information and communication “.
The provision of the service by teleworking “must be expressly authorized and will be compatible with the face-to-face mode” and, in any case, “will be voluntary and reversible except in duly justified exceptional cases”.
The fine print of teleworking provision, “the terms of the regulations issued in the development of this Statute” shall be “subject to collective bargaining” in the corresponding Administration and “shall include objective criteria in access to this mode of provision of service “, according to the agreement.
Teleworking is also considered to have to “contribute to a better organization of work”, so “objectives” will be identified and “an evaluation of their fulfillment will be carried out.”
Regarding the guarantee of the same rights and duties of public employees who telework with respect to those who are present in the offices, the agreement highlights the necessary compliance with “the regulations for the prevention of occupational risks that are applicable”.
Labor personnel at the service of Public Administrations “shall be governed, in matters of telework, by the provisions of this Statute and by its implementing regulations”. The teleworking conditions of these personnel (who are not civil servants) were up for grabs, given that this group was excluded from the distance work legislation negotiated by the Ministry of Labor with the unions and employers for the private sector and that the Government intends to close throughout the day today.