Flexitime arrangements are to be temporarily suspended across the civil and public service as part of its response to the coronavirus crisis. But balances already accrued by staff will remain in place and can be used once normal working arrangements are back in place.
It’s expected that the suspension will extend to non-commercial semi-state organisations linked to public service pay and conditions.
In fact, flexitime has already either formally or effectively been suspended in the majority of public service employments where it was in place. These include the HSE, major civil service departments including social protection, and a number of local authorities.
The change, which is outlined in revised Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) guidance to employers published today (9th April), acknowledges the radical new ways of working that have been increased across the public service.
It says: “Many areas of the public service are under extreme pressure, and in order to keep delivering essential services to all our citizens we need flexibility and adaptability. The operation of traditional flexi-time and attendance management rules do not support the flexible arrangements and agility required during this extraordinary situation.”
DPER says that “it is crucial that we show solidarity as a unified one public service” at a time when Covid-19 has had an “unprecedented impact’ on normal working arrangements.