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Public Sector Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 21 April 2021

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Ceisteanna (117)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Ceist:

117. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the estimated number of civil servants currently working remotely as a result of the pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20407/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

There is no central information on numbers of Civil and Public Servants currently working from home.

My Department proactively supports employers across the Civil and Public Service in managing workplace attendance through the Guidance and FAQs for Public Service Employers during COVID-19. This document is regularly updated to reflect any changes in public health guidance and government policy, most recently on the 8th March. See gov.ie for the most up to date guidance.

FAQ 1.1 of this document, provides guidance for employers in relation to who should attend the work premises during the pandemic.

The guidance to the Civil Service and Public Sector bodies is based on public health advice and the Resilience and Recovery Plan 2021 which was published by the Government on 23rd February.

Within the plan, and the DPER Guidance and FAQs, there is a Framework for Restrictive Measures for work, with five different levels - these are set out below. The Framework provides for home working to continue where possible. Currently at Level 5 the advice to all employers is “Work from home unless it is for work which is in essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home.”

Home working must be balanced with the requirement to continue to provide essential services to the public, in line with the provisions of the framework.

To further support employers and employees at this time my Department developed guidance for civil service organisations - Working from Home during COVID-19 Guidance for Civil Service Organisations - in response to the requirement by Government for employees to work from home where possible during COVID.

The purpose of this guidance, which issued to Civil Service employers in June, was to support the health and wellbeing of employees; to ensure good practice has been followed by employees when working from home during COVID; and to support the regular and effective delivery of service.

Framework of Restrictive Measures for Work:

Level 1: Work from home if possible. Attend work for specific business requirements and on a staggered attendance basis.

Level 2: Work from home if possible. Attendance at work for essential onsite meetings, inductions and training.

Level 3: Work from home unless absolutely necessary to attend in person.

Level 4: Only essential or other designated workers should go to work.

Level 5: Work from home unless it is for work which is in essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home.

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