PN calls on government to impose mandatory teleworking in public sector

Remote working should be introduced immediately across the public sector, and the government should revise existing legislation and offer incentives and assistance to facilitate working from home even beyond COVID-19, the PN said 

Clyde Puli says government should look and incentivising remote working even beyond COVID-19
Clyde Puli says government should look and incentivising remote working even beyond COVID-19

Government should immediately introduce mandatory teleowking across the public sector for all those who can carry out their duties from home, as a means to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep the country from having to resort to a lockdown, the PN said yesterday.

Clyde Puli, the PN’s spokesman for employment, said it would benefit everyone if more people were to work from home, as there would be less people on the roads, sharing offices and common spaces.

He said the government should look also at incentivising teleworking even in the long term, beyond Covid. Existing legislation would need to be revised, following consultation with all social partners.

“But the priority now is for immediate action, and that is why we are proposing that the government switch to teleworking those in public employment who can continue their work from home,” Puli said. “And the government should not offer this as an option, but should impose it on those who can carry out their duties from home.”

Puli said there were many benefits to encouraging teleworking that went beyong mitigating the effects of coronavirus.

“Teleworking affects our work-life balance, traffic congestion as well as the spending power of households,” he said. “But many business will require assistance to transition to teleworking permanently in the long term.”

He said possible incentives could include grants for businesses to upgrade and provide equipment for their workers to work from home.

“Teleworking would also lead to companies needing less space to operate, having smaller overhead costs and leaving a smaller carbon footprint on the environment,” he said.

“Other countries have already seen a steady rising trend in the number of companies switching to teleworking as businesses, and employees, came to recognise the benefits it offered.”

PN MP Claudette Baldacchino too highlighted the benefits of teleworking and insisted that it was not only women who sought to work from home when the possibility was offered earlier this year.

“Families can enjoy a better home-work balance, especially at a time like this when many children are being home schooled or following school lessons online,” she said.