Normal flexitime arrangements are to be reintroduced by 24th August for civil and public servants based in the workplace on pre-coronavirus working time and attendance patterns. The return of flexitime, which is confirmed in new official guidance published yesterday (30th July), has been a priority for Fórsa in recent weeks.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) has also told the union that flexi can be reintroduced by employers earlier than 24th August if it is operationally feasible.
A blanket suspension of flexitime was introduced as an emergency measure in March as tens of thousands of public servants were hastily set up to work from home.
Flexitime arrangements remain suspended for those working from home and staff on new shift patterns introduced to support social distancing and other public health requirements. Staff in the latter category are generally being rostered for fewer hours than normal.
Any balances accrued by those still covered by the temporary suspension will continue to be held over until the resumption of normal working patterns.
The flexi suspension has been a growing issue of contention in many sectors, including local government where the union recently referred the matter to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). Council employers acknowledged the union’s concerns, but said they were subject to DPER guidlines.
But Fórsa had begun to win concessions at local level. Last week we reported that Garda staff on pre-Covid work arrangements would see flexitime reintroduced from this week.
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