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FAHR issues a circular on Remote Work System in the Federal Government

Sunday May 03, 2020

The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) issued a circular to all ministries and federal entities regarding the recent Cabinet Resolution on Remote Work System in the Federal Government, one of the main work patterns implemented in the Federal Government after several experiments since 2017.

The system will be implemented,  according to the circular, permanently by the federal authorities in normal situations, side by side with other types of traditional work currently implemented, after taking measures to organize government work under emergency conditions.

The Authority circulated the new remote work system to ministries and federal entities, explaining that it helps in creating new unconventional job opportunities, as well as providing multiple job options for employees and entities, to achieve a better work – life balance in a way that does not affect the achievement of the entity’s goals.

According to the circular, the system will be applied to current and new national employees eligible to work remotely, as determined by the federal entities, in coordination with the Authority as per the standards contained in the system, HR procedures and electronic systems approved in the Federal Government.

The circular called on all ministries and federal  entities to adhere to the criteria for determining the appropriate remote jobs, as well as the mechanism for selecting employees to work remotely contained in the   system. Federal entities were also required to provide the Authority with the information requested as soon as possible to make sure that the required conditions are fulfilled according to the rules, before the final approval and notification of the federal entity prior to implementation of the system, after completion of the measures taken to organize government work under emergency conditions.

The circular expressed the Authority’s readiness to provide the necessary support and assistance to the ministries and federal entities with regard to the implementation of remote work system in the Federal Government.

Objective of remote work

The Authority explained that remote work system in the Federal Government under normal situations, helps in talent attraction and retention, reduction of operational costs, and provision of government services outside official working hours.

Types of remote work

Remote work system is divided into two types: partial remote work, where the employee can, at the request of his employer, divide work time between the original workplace and remote workplace in equal or different proportions per day/week/month; Full-time remote work,  which means jobs that can be performed completely from outside the original workplace.

Criteria for choosing suitable jobs for working remotely

The Authority urged federal entities select jobs suitable for remote work in accordance with the following criteria: jobs must be of divisible nature, can be automated, require specific inputs that are handled through electronic systems.

Mechanism for choosing employees to work remotely

According to Cabinet Resolution, employees may be selected to work remotely in accordance with ta set of criteria, including that the employee must: be occupying a job that can be performed remotely; not have been subject to any administrative measures for breach of Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Civil service; be honest and abide by quality and accuracy of work and confidentiality of information, and have attained at least ‘Meets Expectations’ rate in the last performance appraisal.

The Cabinet Resolution also states that the rules and mechanisms of remote work system, as well as employment criteria contained in the Federal Government’s HR Law and related regulations, shall apply to newly appointed employees.

Probationary Period for new employees for new employees

A new employee appointed under remote work system shall be placed on   probationary period for six (6) months, renewable for three (3) months. Prior to the end of probation period, the employee shall undergo a performance review by the immediate supervisor to assess his / her capabilities, to either recommend regular appointment of the employee or termination of employment.

Salaries and Financial  Benefits

Employees working remotely shall be entitled to salaries and financial benefits according to Grade & Salary Scale for Federal Government employees approved by the Cabinet.

Performance Appraisal of Remote Employees

The Authority pointed to the need to observe the provisions contained in  Performance Management System for the Federal Government employees regarding evaluation of employees performing remote work. In addition, they must also be evaluated according to a set of criteria, namely productivity, in terms of the number of outputs and their quality, and  percentage of tasks performed to target. Other criteria include number of deliverables, meeting deadlines for delivering tasks within the time frame specified in the contract, and percentage of abidance by the plan in agreement with the employer.

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