For Written Answer on : 05/04/2022
Question Number(s): 941 Question Reference(s): 18183/22
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the current policy with respect to remote working options for staff in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
A central Blended Working Policy Framework for Civil Service Organisations was launched by Minister McGrath on 31st March 2022. Based on this central framework, my Department is working on its own blended working policy and intends to make the facility available to its staff as soon as possible but no later than the end of Q2, in line with the timeframe agreed by Government.
The purpose of this Departmental policy will be to facilitate a mix of remote working and attendance in the workplace, within a formalised structure that supports the business needs of the Department. Staff will be entitled to apply for blended working and all applications will be considered bearing in mind the suitability of the applicant and their role for blended working arrangements, as well as the needs of the relevant team and business area.
During the pandemic, approximately half of my Department’s staff carried out their duties in their usual workplaces, Ports, Laboratories, on-site inspections etc. Since the formal lifting of the public health measures earlier this year, the remaining staff have been following a structured Return To the Workplace schedule and are carrying out their duties both remotely and from their usual workplace.