For Written Answer on : 05/04/2022
Question Number(s): 378 Question Reference(s): 18169/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the current policy with respect to remote working options for staff in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The vast majority of staff in my Department worked remotely in line with COVID-19 restrictions since end of March 2020, attending the workplace only for essential business purposes. Since the Government in September 2021 announced the lifting of restrictions to allow for a phased return to physical attendance in the workplace, staff in my Department have resumed attendance. Staff are now generally attending on a 2 days a week basis, as part of the transition back to the workplace, subject to prevailing public health advice.
A central policy framework for Blended Working in the Civil Service has been developed and was published by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on 31 March 2022. The term blended working refers to a combination of working from the employer’s work premises and working remotely. This framework will ensure a consistency of approach across Government Departments and Offices.
The framework will inform the development of organisation-level blended working policies tailored to the specific requirements of Departments. It is intended to offer employees of my Department with qualifying roles, performance and remote workstations the option to apply for blended working, later in 2022.
The framework may be viewed at this link: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/67fed-minister-mcgrath-and-minister-of-state-smyth-publish-civil-service-blended-working-policy-framework/