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Flexible Work Practices

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (450)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

450. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide a schedule of remote working options available for officials of her Department. [61702/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Civil Service departments and offices have been working in line with Government Covid-19 guidance, which provides for home working to continue where possible. As an essential service, staff in my Department have continued, throughout the pandemic, to work both on site in office premises and remotely to deliver for our customers across our nationwide network of offices.

The number of staff who are working remotely at any one time across all business areas of the Department is approximately 3,300 or 50% of the total staffing number and has remained relatively constant through the Covid-19 restrictions. Overall, since the onset of Covid-19, the range of working options have been full-time remote working, full-time office attendance and blended working i.e. a mixture of home and office working.

The Government has confirmed its support of blended working in the Civil Service and, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is developing an overarching central framework to support consistency of implementation of blended working across the Civil Service.

This framework will inform the development of organisation-level blended working policies tailored to the specific requirements of each Department/Office, whilst ensuring a consistency of approach across key policy areas. In conjunction with this framework an application process is also currently being developed to allow staff to apply for blended working into the future.

In line with this approach, it is intended, subject to business needs and individual suitability, to make blended working part of the way that my Department will work on a more permanent basis, continuing to offer remote working, blended working and office-based working options.

To this end, my Department will develop a blended working policy based on the framework being developed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and will aim to implement this policy in the first quarter of 2022, subject to prevailing public health guidance.

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