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Civil Service - Post Lockdown - Blended Working?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,772 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    We're looking at volunteers to the end of the year.and blended working by q2/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭gordongekko


    Have they defined what they think blended working means? How many days do they expect ye to be in the office?



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,772 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    Not Been worked out yet, hence the need for volunteers. Number of staff in the building will be reduced I assume.



  • Registered Users Posts: 28,971 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Asking for volunteers is great for those staff for whom WFH isn't working



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    Im public service and one area in my workplace some staff have been asked to return to office 4 days a week from Monday. We have no union agreement re return to workplace but some managers seem to do what they please. Thankfully been referred to Union as that seems extreme



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,677 ✭✭✭Happydays2020


    perhap a good idea but the flip side of that is that your home should become a place of business, be subject to rates, the need to comply with workplace health and safety laws including record keeping, and so on. If you sell your property a proportion will of course be subject to capital gains as a business premises should be.

    I suspect that if you insist on this as a condition of your employment you may need to seek another job as many employers will not sign up for this. You may also find that these demands increase scepticism from managers about the motivations and merits of WFH.



  • Registered Users Posts: 636 ✭✭✭Absolute Zero


    Do you mind saying which department you are with?



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    We've been told that return to work and the blended working policy are two seperate issues, and the return to work plan shouldn't be taken as an indication of what the blended working policy will be.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    Public service and education but non front line or customer facing.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    yeah agree - and sorry my pet hate but its not return to work its return to the office. How the blended working policy is implemented is down to each individual area/manger in my workplace - my own situation is still in discussion. 2m social distancing impacts how many of us can be there at one time etc



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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    You're right, it is return to office :)

    While each individual department can put in place a return to the office plan for their staff without reference to any other department, there is no official "blended work policy" they can implement yet, because it still has yet to be decided what it will be.

    The official blended working policy for the wider CS will only be formulated only after consultation across all departments has been made and will involve the unions as well, and is due by Q2 2022. Thats basically what our dept said to us.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    Yeah agree. Our existing agile working policy is still in place until any new policy is agreed with social partners in line with national policy by Q2 2022. We still have a lot of health & safety stuff to sort out but I work in a large collaborative space which is trickier than a single office.



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,849 ✭✭✭billyhead


    You can guarantee it won't be f/t WFH when the policy comes out in the New Year. For Dublin based staff they will want civil servants to return asap to support local businesses i.e coffee shops, pubs etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    wouldnt be so sure on that - not all of us are based anywhere near other businesses even if we wanted to use them but I work in third level. I can see your point though. Also my hours have changed and remain changed - flexi time is gone for us for now.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,608 ✭✭✭✭Beechwoodspark


    Wifey is in civil service. Is flexi gone?



  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 2,248 Mod ✭✭✭✭Nigel Fairservice


    It's suspended for those working at home. It's still in operation for those in the office...or at least it is in my department.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    yes sorry suspended while working from home and will remain suspended for us while we are blended. Only available if full time in office but that isnt an option for anyone in my workplace yet. Complicated I know. Thats what I meant in respect of buying your lunch or getting a coffee if you worked near shops etc. Possible with flexi maybe but not for me working set hours even if Im in the office.

    Post edited by gauchesnell on


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    In my Dept we still use the flexi clock, we clock in and out as normal, (we never stopped) so our working hours are recorded. But we can't build up hours towards flexi leave or take flexi leave. Also told this is to remain in place until the new blended working policy is decided, including days in the office.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,107 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997


    Remove flexi then bring everyone back to the office.

    Feels like people will be worse of than before.



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    oh yeah we still clock in but we cant take flexi leave or build up hours or use flexi leave. So same. Back in office with no flexi (blended working) and if I stay blended no flexi either.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    yeah its a wait and see for me. I know what Im doing now and it will be blended for the next few weeks. Not having flexi only impacts me when commuting - getting to work is the big concern. Not ideal really



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    We still have flexible working hours, in the sense that we can choose our start / lunch \ leaving times, in fact we're being encouraged to stagger these times as much as possible so there are less people in the office earlier / later in the day. We're just not allowed to work up extra hours towards flexi leave. Any extra time we put in, we simply lose it.

    Are you being asked to adhere to a 9:15am start with 5:45pm close and 1:15hr for lunch? 😲



  • Registered Users Posts: 946 ✭✭✭gauchesnell


    Things are still being worked out as we dont clock in and out when not on flexi (we just clock in once) so I think it could be 9am - 4.30pm with 1/2hr for lunch. I eat my lunch at my desk so dont need long. Ive worked flexi for so long and havent commuted for so long its hard to know about start time - I just dont know how long it would take to get to work every day on public transport.



  • Registered Users Posts: 6,772 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    We got our survey results. Needless to say most don't want to go back to the office or would be happy with a day or 2 a month in the office.

    Let's see them ignore the results now. 🙂



  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭James2020App


    As a matter of interest around what percent are we talking? Like 80% or 60% wanting flexibility?



  • Registered Users Posts: 636 ✭✭✭Absolute Zero




  • Registered Users Posts: 6,772 ✭✭✭SouthWesterly


    I'd have to check but it was 80 plus as far as I can remember.



  • Posts: 5,917 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Not a member of the civil service, but my wife is a public servant and I have friends working in the civil service.

    I hope they won't but I believe that they will ignore it and your union will fold on the matter.

    Among other things like certain politicians saying that you don't do any work when at home, they will be getting complaints from pub, deli and cafe owners near your offices that their trade and takings will be down because ye aren't there. A fact that some politicians also have financial stakes in some of these types of businesses will also be another factor.

    My wife has been working in their office through out covid as what they do cannot be done from home and that will always be the case so any changes won't affect her team in the day to day other than loss of overtime so they simply won't do any if that is the case. Everyone will now be back in the office come October 22nd with no working from home option as management have said that they don't have guidance from government on such arrangements. Given that a couple of people in the main office buildings who contracted covid in early 2020 were told by their manager not to inform their colleagues with who they shared offices with in order to avoid panic and have people present for work, I expect it to be a sh1t show on the 22nd.

    In relation to the lack of flexi time and not being paid overtime, so much for the power of your union that is often talked about specifically FORSA, (my wife and her team are represented by a different union) in allowing it to continue. A friend who is an AO has been working on average seventy hours a week with no lunch most days including weekends for the last four months due to several technical issues and projects coming due and has been told no overtime or time in lieu will be given, while the external contractors on his team who are on double his salary get one or the other as any overtime they do has to be signed off on before hand.

    His average weekly hours since he joined the civil service are in the fifties as his department don't have the required number of staff for the workload and the contractors won't do overtime unless it is signed off on first so they are out the door at the end of their shift.

    In contrast the company I work for has said that we will not be back in the office until March 2022 at the earliest and all staff will only have to do two days in the office on alternative weeks. It won't apply to me as I've always worked from home unless I felt like going into the office, and the only thing will be that after March if I want to go in I have to book a desk in advance.

    I don't work a minutes overtime unless I have written confirmation from my manager before hand that I will either be paid for it or given time in lieu.

    The simple fact is that despite what ever work ye do in the civil and public service and I believe it is important and vital work in the main, you are not appreciated by either the politicians and a lot of the public that you serve. Even if most of the public did appreciate ye, attention is given to those like ISME who have some members in trouble with Revenue over tax and covid payment fraud, that don't as they are the ones complaining the loudest.

    So what ye want in terms of working conditions such as working from home and better pay will be ignored for votes and other factors, as anything given to ye will be used as a reference by any other unions who happen to represent workers (often low paid) in consultations with private sector employers who won't let their staff work from home.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,609 ✭✭✭channelsurfer2


    I do worry about what forsa are at re blended working they seem to have folded to everything so far since covid that DPER have decided



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  • Posts: 5,917 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    What has your union representative said in relation to this and the results of the survey?

    If their members don't push them on stuff like this and make it a regular talking point they may well still fold but can't claim that no one really seemed to want it because no one brought in up with them.



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