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HOME LEAVE 2022: USHU delivers on its campaign targets

USHU played a critical role in moving this file forward and obtaining more for staff

USHU has advocated tirelessly for increased Home Leave over the past two years and particularly given the protracted health crisis and the need to ensure fairer working conditions for expatriates serving in non-EU countries.

As reported back in June 2021, USHU confronted both the Commission and the EEAS on their failure to implement their own decision to increase Home Leave in 2020. Following extensive negotiations together with other trade unions, the administrative procedure is now in its final stages for the adoption of a new 2022 Home Leave Decision which will result in increased Home Leave days for all expatriate colleagues based in EU Delegations whose place of origin is in excess of 2,000km.

USHU also argued strongly for additional days for all expatriate staff including those staff in the 0-2000km bracket as we are convinced that non-EU places of work are distinct from places of work within the EU and that expatriates at distances below 2,000km from their place of origin are also faced with a range of obstacles that complicate their journey home. We are convinced their adaptation period at their place of origin is often more extensive than for colleagues travelling within the EU.

In addition to obtaining a new Home Leave Decision, USHU is aiming for the following in 2022:

  • TELEWORK in EU DEL: Telework has been the default for many during the crisis and has demonstrated itself to be a WIN-WIN for business continuity and staff safety. EEAS and COM must fully integrate Telework into the modern workplace and all staff in EU DEL must have access to Telework once the health crisis eventually ends. USHU requests the EEAS to adopt a Telework Decision for EU DEL that transcends the current crisis and ensures access for all in the future and is accessible to all staff categories (officials, temporary agents, contract agents, local agents).

  • TELEWORK ABROAD : to promote a greater work-life balance, USHU continues to advocate for a minimum of 10 days of Telework from outside the place of employment for EU DEL staff. We believe this will provide a better balance and is sorely needed by many so that they can connect again with their places of interest/origin and maintain business continuity. This is a WIN-WIN scenario for all and should be guaranteed.

  • NEW SPECIAL LEAVE for Administrative and Medical purposes : USHU calls on the EEAS and COM to introduce a new Special Leave for a period of up to 5 days for all expatriates for administrative and medical issues in Europe. This would allow expats to combine special leave with annual leave/mission in order to get vital medical appointments that cannot be obtained at their place of work and to deal with a range of administrative issues that simply cannot be done virtually.

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Serious consideration should be given to extending the 10 days of Telework from outside the place of employment for local staff who are hired in Delegations that are outside their place of residence. Indeed if the entire 10 days is not given - at least consider five. Often these persons are away from friends and family (just like the expats are) whilst working in the respective Delegation. #equalrules/opportunitiesforall?

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