You are being supported with a number of questions and answers on the most common issues related to the utilisation and implementation of modern work practices which shall come into effect on 3rd April 2023. The information has been designed to act as guidelines so you are encouraged to refer to the provisions and conditions regarding these measures which are explained in detail in the Manual for Work-Life Balance Measures.
Whenever there is a discrepancy between the content of these guidelines and the Manual on Work-Life Balance Measures, the latter shall prevail.
1. What are modern work practices and what is their aim?
Modern work practices are improved working methods that offer more flexibility at work. The Public Service offers a range of modern work practices which are: reduced hours, flexi-time, flexi-week, remote working and extended remote working.
2. When will these practices come into effect?
As from 3rd April 2023 public officers may benefit from a range of modern work practices which include the following: reduced hours, flexi-time, flexi-week, remote working and extended remote working.
3. Where can I find more information on modern work practices?
The full provisions and conditions applicable to modern work practices are found at Section 3 of the Manual on Work-Life Balance Measures which can be accessed from here. Public officers can also contact the One-Stop-Shop for Public Officers by calling 2200 1225 or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
4. Who can benefit from modern work practices?
Public officers in the Public Service are eligible depending on job suitability and work exigencies.
5. Do I need an approval to benefit from modern work practices?
Requests for modern work practices are to be made through an online application and are approved by the respective Director/Head of Department. In the case of requests for Extended Remote Working, these are approved by the Permanent Secretary.
6. How can I apply to benefit from modern work practices?
Requests for the utilisation of modern work practices are to be made on the appropriate e-forms which can be accessed from myPortal by logging on myportal.gov.mt. The e-forms may also be accessed from the Manual on Work-Life Balance Measures and from the website of the People and Standards Division.
7. For how long is an approval for modern work practices valid?
Approval for modern work practices is granted for a period of twelve (12) months which may be renewed for a further twelve (12) months.
8. I am currently on probation, can I benefit from modern work practices?
The eligibility for modern work practices is not tied to a probationary period. However, public officers are required to have been three (3) months in their current position in order to be eligible to utilize any of the modern work practices.
9. Do I need to provide a justification to make use of any of the modern work practices?
With the exception of Extended Remote Working, public officers do not need to provide a justification when applying for modern work practices. However, in cases where various requests from employees in the same section are made, management may request justification for prioritization purposes.
10. How many hours can I work if I choose to work on reduced hours?
Public officers who work on reduced hours can work between twenty (20) and thirty-five (35) hours per week. In the case of shift workers their working hours may vary between 50% and 87.5% of their usual working hours.
11. What is flexitime and what's new?
Flexi-time allows employees to work on a different schedule altogether from the established office hours. Employees may choose to start working up to two (2) hours before or after the established office hours.
12. What is flexi-week?
Through a flexi-week arrangement, public officers may spread their work week of forty (40) hours over (four) 4 or six (6) days. The maximum amount of hours that can be worked during any given day should not exceed twelve (12) hours.
13. Who can work remotely?
Public officers may work up to 20% of their weekly working hours remotely during their normal office hours. Public officers who require to work more than 20% of their weekly working hours remotely, are to refer to extended remote working.
14. Do I need to provide a reason to work remotely?
Public officers do not need to provide a reason to work up to 20% of their weekly working hours remotely. However, employees who would like to benefit from extended remote working need to submit a justification when applying for such measure.
15. Will telework continue to be available?
As from 3rd April 2023, telework will be absorbed by Extended Remote Working.
16. What is Extended Remote Working and who can benefit from this measure?
Extended Remote Working is a remote working arrangement whereby employees may work any number of hours of their weekly working hours remotely, for family-related reasons or other humanitarian reasons. Extended Remote Working is absorbing the teleworking arrangements.
17. I currently have a telework/remote working arrangement. Will I continue to benefit from the same arrangement after the 3rdApril 2023?
There will be a transition period from 3rd April till 15th June 2023, during which existing teleworking and remote working agreements will be adopted in favour of work-life balance of the individual.
18. Can my superior ask me to work remotely?
Remote Working is entirely voluntary and may neither be imposed by management nor demanded as of right by the employee.
19. Currently I have a teleworking/remote working agreement whereby I work more than 20% of my weekly working hours remotely. Will I continue to benefit from the same arrangement after the 3rd April 2023?
Public officers who would like to work more than 20% of their weekly working hours remotely, shall apply for Extended Remote Working, subject to the eligibility criteria pertinent to such measure.
20. Can I decide to work remotely outside my normal office hours?
Beneficiaries of Remote Working shall work their remote working hours during their working schedule. However, beneficiaries of Extended Remote Working, in agreement with management, may work their remote working hours, or part thereof, outside their normal working schedule.
21. Can I benefit from more than one of these measures at the same time?
Public officers can benefit from more than one of these modern work practices at the same time, on approval with management, subject to the nature of the job and work exigencies. An application needs to be submitted for each of the measure requested.
For more information contact the One-Stop-Shop for Public Officers:
3, Castille Place, Valletta
Or visit https://peopleandstandards.gov.mt