Remote working in the Public Service enters into force: 13 government departments start working remotely

Mario Cutajar

Last Updated on Thursday, 7 October, 2021 at 3:34 pm by Andre Camilleri

13 government departments from different ministries will start working remotely this month. This was announced by Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar at a press conference detailing the transition of the Public Service to remote working.

The Principal Permanent Secretary said this policy aims to achieve a new work-life balance. He explained that the policy is the result of two years’ work, which started with a pilot project back in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In addition to the pilot project, a detailed study was carried out during the pandemic when government workers were working from home, on how remote work impacted the service and the employees. We took note of the conclusions. Amongst others, the need for remote workspaces was evident. Remote workspaces can be used by public officers while working remotely. In January, we announced that by the end of the year we will have 15 workspaces; today, I can announce that they are all completed and usable,” said Mr Cutajar. He added that the number of workspaces will double during 2023.

This month a transition process of 18 months started, to make the shift from the existing telework system to remote working. For the first time, in our country, this policy is also going to embrace the right to disconnect.

The Head of the Public Service said that while other sectors are still discussing forms of remote working, the Public Service was the first to successfully study and implement it, with detailed guidelines and specialised training for both employees working remotely and their managers who want to run remotely.

“The Covid-19 experience showed that the service was not delayed during the pandemic. With that knowledge and experience of the pilot project, I am convinced that remote working will further motivate public officials to deliver better results. Once again, we are being leaders who drive change in the country,” said Mr Cutajar.

Jonathan Gerada

The conference was also addressed by Mr Jonathan Gerada, Chief Information Officer, who detailed the devices that every public officer working remotely will have. These devices will be a source of connectivity making it possible for the public official to work safely and communicate with others remotely. The same equipment serves many other purposes, including booking for remote workspaces.

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