The Civil Service Commission (CSC) has approved a memorandum allowing government agencies to implement flexible work arrangements anytime.
This comes amid calls from workers in the public sector to implement flexible work modes with the pandemic still posing risks.
In a resolution promulgated on May 18 and took effect on Wednesday (June 15), the commission noted that flexible work arrangements are ‘subject to the discretion of the head of agency on the condition that all their stakeholders are assured of continuous delivery of services from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The CSC Memorandum Circular No. 2022-6 will cover around 1.7 million government employees regardless of the status of appointment.
“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 CSC said that the recent move was part of its nationwide effort to institutionalize flexible work arrangements as the country transitions to the new normal.
“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 the resolution, the CSC released the following flexible work arrangements allowed for government agencies:
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
The agency said that the adoption of the above can be allowed on a regular, situational basis, or for medical reasons.
Meanwhile, CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada has clarified that the CSC was just presenting options because “no one formula [could] work for the entire bureaucracy.”
She also pointed out that WFH arrangements should not be automatically adopted, saying these must be aligned with an agency’s 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,” she said.
Agencies must first formulate internal guidelines and submit them to CSC for recording and reference purposes should they wish to adopt flexible work arrangements.
They should also ensure that public services, programs, and projects will not be ‘negatively affected, delayed, or hampered.’
Furthermore, the offices are mandated to adopt performance standards, timelines, and submissions of accomplishment reports in line with Republic Act No. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act.
Failure to accomplish their tasks within these parameters could be used to deny subsequent requests for flexi place work arrangements according to Commissioner Lizada.
However, employees under flexible place arrangements are not entitled to compensatory overtime credit/overtime pay unless they physically report for work and render services beyond the normal eight-hour workdays/40-hour work week, and on rest days and holidays.
“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.
Additionally, reimbursement of laboratory or medical expenses incurred during official travel and reasonable expenses incurred during an imposed WFH arrangement are ‘subject to existing budgeting, accounting, and auditing rules’.
Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.
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