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Civil servants get S.O.E. working conditions

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has released revised working conditions for public servants for the duration of the 14-day state of emergency (S.O.E.).

As part of the revised work scheduling, the P.S.C. has advised that there will be a shutdown of non-essential services while essential services will stay open for the duration of the emergency.

The new working hours will be from 9am to 3pm and Government-appointed Chief Executive Officers have been asked to make flexible working arrangements for employees as well as appropriate transportation using Government vehicles.

The P.S.C. has also asked Chief Executive Officers to use their special powers granted under the S.O.E. orders to determine whether to suspend or defer Government programmes, which could see over five people meeting in one place. 

“All Ministries to encourage the elevated use of telecommunication or social media means to respond to all customer enquiries and to reduce the movement of the general public.”

The option to work remotely from home has also been afforded to Tier 1 (chief executive officers, deputy chief executive officers) and Tier 2 (assistant chief executive officers, principal officers) category public servants by the P.S.C.

The Commission has also urged ministries, statutory, public bodies and constitutional authorities to provide appropriate support, such as internet access and office network access to an employee where applicable.

These include those who are 60-years-old and above; employees with underlying medical conditions; those who are affected by the unavailability of public transport to travel to work; and those who are affected by the closure of schools and to attend to their children.

Special leave provisions will also be available to the following Government employees: employees aged 60-years-plus; employees with underlying medical conditions; Employees who need to care for family members suspected or confirmed with the COVID-19; Employees suspected or confirmed with the COVID-19; Employees affected by the unavailability of public transportation to travel to work; Employees affected by the closure of schools and need to attend to their children; Employees who have exhausted all leave but have mild symptoms of the flu; and employees with returning family members who have travelled from M.O.H. (Ministry of Health) restricted country destinations.

The PSC said all chief executive officers, deputy chief executive officers, assistant chief executive officers and principal officers should also be on standby to provide on-call assistance at the hospital or borders when required by the National Emergency Operations Centre (N.E.O.C.).

All human resource officers as well as assistant chief executive officers (corporate services) for all public bodies and constitutional agencies have been directed by the PSC to maintain all records of employees, circulate and update the contact profile list of their employees to their management, and facilitate and coordinate the completion and submission of the situational report due every 72 hours to the relevant sector coordinator for submission to N.E.O.C.

The PSC also warned that “those who purposely lie to use special leave with pay” will be subject to disciplinary action under Section 19, Code of Conduct of the Public Service Act 2004 or any applicable laws.

All employees are responsible for:

  1. Submitting their request to the relevant Minister or CEO if they should fall under category (B) and wish to work remotely from home
  2. Submitting a report if they fall within category (B) and approved to work remotely from home to their Minister or CEO upon returning to work
  3. Informing their office as soon as possible via mobile or other social media means if they fall within any of the conditions specified in ©
  4. Submitting a medical certificate if they mild symptoms of the flu upon returning to work
  5. Submitting a medical proof of test result and a medical clearance report at least five days prior of being physically fit to resume work if recovered from the COVID19 (MOH guidelines)
  6. Submitting a medical clearance report at least three days prior if suspected with the Covid19 before resuming work (MOH guidelines)
  7. Submitting a copy of the medical report for a family member suspected or confirmed with the COVID19 he/she is caring for and additionally 5 or 6


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