Gov’t agencies may issue ‘flexitime’ rules, says CSC
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) on Tuesday called on government agencies to review their internal rules on working hours and consider their employees’ situation when traveling to work.
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“Certain conditions must be in place to manage the expectations of the public. Flexitime is allowed but the agency must ensure that its services are available anytime within 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” CSC Chair Alicia dela Rosa-Bala said in a statement.
The commission issued revised guidelines on flexible working hours or “flexitime” in government in November 2019.
The set of guidelines in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 25, s. 2019 does not automatically change the work schedules of government employees.
It only directs agencies to formulate their internal rules in the implementation of flexitime with the approval of the head of the department, office, or agency, subject to certain conditions.
The flexible work schedule must abide by the following conditions: officials and employees shall not render less than a total of 40 hours a week for five days a week, exclusive of time for lunch; working hours shall not start earlier than 7 a.m. and end later than 7 p.m., and the public must be assured of the continuous services of the agency from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. even during lunch break.
“With flexitime in place, government agencies may even consider extending their frontline service hours before 8 a.m. and beyond 5 p.m. for the benefit of those who need to transact with the government but cannot do so during regular office hours,” Bala said.
Under the guidelines, agencies may consider Saturdays and Sundays as regular workdays — granting affected employees two rest days from Mondays to Fridays.
“Flexibility in the daily work schedules is a way to spread the volume of people on the road, especially during peak hours, as well as consider the plight of motorists and commuters who lose valuable rest and family time due to heavy traffic,” Bala said.
The CSC clarified that the implementation of the flexitime scheme does not amend or invalidate civil service rules and regulations on habitual tardiness, habitual absenteeism, and performance management.
“Agencies must continuously monitor the performance of their employees to make sure changes in working hours do not adversely affect the delivery of government programs and services,” Bala said.
Agencies are now allowed to conduct the flag-raising ceremony at their preferred time on the first working day of the week, as well as the flag-lowering ceremony on the last working day of the week.
Under CSC-Department of Budget and Management Joint Circular No. 2, s. 2015, the grant of compensation, whether overtime pay or compensatory time-off as may be authorized by the head of the agency for services rendered beyond 40 hours a week, is allowed. (PNA)