The Civil Service Commission or CSC has approved a memorandum allowing all government agencies to have flexible work arrangements anytime. With the pandemic still looming in, calls from government employees has pushed the commission to have flexible work modes be implemented.
Promulgated on May 18, the commission has approved such work arrangements with the discretion of the head of any agencies who wish to adapt with the flexi-work setup. Taking effect on June 15, the commission also setup rules and regulations regarding the implementation of the flexi-work arrangements for government entities, including stakeholders should be assured of continuous delivery of services from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, the standard office hours for government offices.
The CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2022-6 will cover around 1.7 million government employees regardless of the status of appointment. This means that both regular and contractual (Job Order) employees can be included in the flexi-work arrangement an agency would like to adapt.
“As a parallel policy to the Telecommuting Law of the private sector, the flexible work arrangement guidelines covering 1.7 million government employees regardless of the status of appointment, will certainly change the landscape of work in the country,”THE CSC SAID IN A RELEASE.
The commission mentioned that the adoption of flexi-work arrangements is part of the anticipated “new normal” in the job industry, not just for private sectors but for those who work in the government as well.
“It serves as a preventive measure to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of government officials and employees while ensuring the government’s continued operations and efficient delivery of public services,”IT ADDED.
Flexible Work Arrangements
As per CSC’s resolution, the following are the flexible work arrangements government entities (GEs) can adapt:
- Flexiplace – Officials and employees may be authorized to render services away from their office
- Compressed work week – The 40-hour work week could be compressed into four (4) days or less, instead of five (5)
- Skeleton workforce – A minimum number of workers will be required to report to the office when full staffing is not possible
- Work shifting – For agencies required by law to operate 24/7 or agencies required to observe workplace health and safety protocols
- Flexitime – Employees are allowed to report between 7 am to 7 pm provided they complete the required 40-hour workweek
- Combination of flexible work arrangements – This can be adopted by an agency according to what is appropriate or applicable to its mandate and functions
CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada mentioned that the commission was just presenting several options, stating that no singular fixed arrangement could work for all agencies, thus the proposed options.
The commission also pointed out that agencies who wish to adopt such arrangements must be aligned with their internal guidelines.
“For example, there are certain administrative tasks that [do not require one to] report [to the] office anymore like accounting, research and policy formulation…, it depends on the tasks that the agencies will consider appropriate for these schemes,”CSC COMMISSIONER AILEEN LIZADA SAID.
The following are the CSC’s requirements before an agency can adopt the proposed flexi-work arrangements:
- Agencies must be able to formulate internal guidelines that must be submitted to CSC for record-keeping and reference purposes
- Agencies should ensure that public services, programs, and projects will not be ‘negatively affected, delayed, or hampered.’
- Agencies must be able to adopt performance standards, timelines, and submissions of accomplishment reports in line with Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act.
Additionally, employees under the flexi-work arrangements are not entitled to overtime pay unless they physically report for work and render services beyond the normal eight-hour workdays or 40 hours a week.
“Government agencies shall ensure that support mechanisms are in place in the implementation of flexible work arrangements, such as appropriate personal protective equipment to frontline service providers and transportation facilities for physically reporting employees,”THE CSC SAID.