Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The term “supernumerary” which is sometimes used in relation to staff implies an extra post to the fixed establishment.   Supernumerary posts may be temporary or permanent additions. Permanent supernumerary post are not normally filled but are retained to accommodate officers seconded to organisations outside the Civil Service for an extended period.

Through your Ministry and Department submit a request to the Human Resource, Policy and Staffing Directorate to have your qualifications evaluated and confirm equivalency to those in the Qualifications Order.

The status quo as it relates to the application of leave remains the same whilst working under all flexible working arrangements.  Employees are required to adhere to the legislations that govern their conditions of service, for example, the General Orders for the Public Service and the Public Service Act.  Hence, officers are required to take vacation leave, regardless of the flexible work arrangement.

A public officer may propose a combination of flexible work arrangements for a defined period.

No relationship exists. The Flexible Work Arrangement Policy was developed in an effort to modernize the Public Service, improve productivity, performance and reduce absenteeism.

The officer may consult with the Supervisor about the reason for the delay.  If the reason advanced is not reasonable, the officer may seek redress through the Grievance handling procedure.

The number of persons in office during the core period is dependent on the nature of your business and/or department and should be determined by the Head of Department.

The approved arrangement in place should be for a defined period.

The General Orders outlines the conditions under which an employee should/should not be paid salary whilst on sick leave. If an officer is on any type of leave, this serves to disrupt the flexible work schedule as you are no longer available to work.

The Flexible Work Arrangements do not replace any condition of service within the Public Service.  

As long as the officer calls and indicates that they are unwell, it should be treated as a sick day, in accordance with the leave rules.

Absence from duty without permission is an offense.  If the Head of Department requests an officer to be in office and the officer refuses to comply, this is considered insubordination and is an offense, hence, the officer can be disciplined.

Work plans are a requirement under the PRDS process and are required to monitor performance, regardless of the work schedule.  The work plan is therefore to be submitted along with the FWA application form.

If 8:15 is the officer’s standard work commencement time and they are unable to arrive to work by that time due to unforeseen circumstances, this should be communicated to the Supervisor as soon as this is realized.  It is expected that when the officer reaches work, the standard number of hours the officer is required to work for the day should be completed.  This should be done in consultation with the Supervisor.  

Each day an officer is on duty, except where the officer works a compressed work week.  On any occasion an officer is unable to report for work, the absence needs to be approved by the Supervisor and similarly, any adjustment to the work schedule needs to be approved. 

The Supervisor needs to be informed of the emergency as soon as it is realized and approval sought for an adjustment to the work schedule, if this can be accommodated. 

If your organization works seven (7) days a week this suggests that staff are required to work within a shift system.  The flexible work arrangements may therefore not be suited to this type of work schedule.  However, if any of the flexible work schedules can be accommodated, they should be considered within the standard schedule/work week of the department.  

Any variation/shift in the agreed schedule is at the discretion of the Supervisor and requires approval as it is vital that the operations are not affected.  It is, therefore, necessary to have discussion with the Supervisor to see what can be accommodated.

There are certain requirements that should be in place in order for telecommuting to be considered, as outlined in the Policy.  The technological requirements include equipment, communication and cyber security.  Consideration also needs to be given to the aspect of employee performance, confidentiality, and whether the job can safely be done remotely. If these requirements are in place and the functions can be done remotely and safely, the officer should consult in relation to why there is a reservation to allowing staff to work remotely.  If all conditions are met and there is still refusal to consider the work arrangement, the employee may consider invoking the Grievance Procedure.

Final approval lies with the Permanent Secretary and Head of Departments listed in Eighth Schedule of the Public Service Act, Cap. 29.  

Those jobs not eligible for flexible work arrangement are those who are required to work a shift schedule as well as those who are required to be in office at set/scheduled times.  This includes Fire Officers, Immigration Officers, Security personnel, Police Officers, Prison Officers, Maid, Driver/Messengers, Receptionists, Teachers, etc.  

Denial of Flexible Work Arrangements should be given based on reasonable business grounds. Examples are: 

absence of IT infrastructure and communication tools to support the FWA 

negative impact on customer service (both internal and external customers)

poor employee performance record

Regardless of the work arrangement, an officer can be asked to work overtime.  The type of award granted for the working of overtime should be discussed.

The availability of Flexible Work Arrangements provides the opportunity for employees to seek a schedule that permits them to attend classes while maintaining their standard work hours for the week.  In other words, an officer has the opportunity to request to work a schedule such flexi-time, staggered hours, or compressed work week which takes into account class times and also permits them to work the standard number of hours for the week.

Evidence of supervisors ‘abusing’ the flexible work arrangements have not been encountered.  Employees are required to work the standard hours for the work week regardless of the work arrangement, except in those instances where overtime is required to complete tasks.  

The Flexible Work Arrangement process is one that is collaborative. Therefore, it is encouraged that all stakeholders involved in the process continue to communicate and collaborate as much as possible prior to final approval. 

Flexible Work Arrangement applications should not be processed unless a work plan is submitted along with the application. Therefore, it is encouraged that either the PRDS work plan or a work plan that is compliant with the PRDS work plan be developed and submitted along with the Flexible Work Arrangement application.

In considering a flexible work schedule, it is vital that one assesses whether the job function can be performed effectively and efficiently under the proposed arrangement.  Hence, a Supervisor, in assessing which, if any, flexible work arrangement can be done, needs to assess whether the function can be carried out effectively with limited/no disruption to operations and the service delivered.