World, Europe

Spain to allow bureaucrats to work from home

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, 230,000 government workers will soon have choice to work remotely 3 days a week

Alyssa McMurtry   | 12.04.2021
Spain to allow bureaucrats to work from home

OVIEDO, Spain

The Spanish government announced on Monday that it will give around 230,000 of its employees the opportunity to work remotely three days per week, even after the pandemic is over.

Miquel Iceta, the minister of territorial policy, said the move will help Spain digitize its government services, increase reach in rural areas, and become more environmentally sustainable.

He said it is also important for the government to recognize remote work as a new reality of the labor force.

“This is one strong step towards a future that is already here,” he said.

The option will not be available to all government workers. Teachers, members of the army, judges, and other people whose work requires them to be physically on the job will not have the option.

But those tasked primarily with work that can be done from home may opt for the hybrid model once the agreement has been codified into law.

Remote work will be voluntary, but in case of emergencies like natural disasters or pandemics, employees could be forced to keep working from home.

Iceta said the shift has been a long time coming, but was greatly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the pandemic first hit, Spain’s government scrambled to deploy the technology to allow its administration to remain productive outside of government buildings.

Last September, the government passed another law regulating remote work in the public administration.

The new agreement comes as Spain sees coronavirus infections swelling in most of the country.

Over the weekend, nearly 23,000 new cases were detected in the country, active hospitalizations surged by nearly 1,000, and 197 more people lost their lives.

Spain has vaccinated around 7.6 million people with at least one jab, but hopes Tuesday’s arrival of the Janssen vaccine will help immunize the population much more rapidly.

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