The government has reviewed its October decision to recommend remote work at least until the end of the year 2020. And, in view of the current epidemiological situation, it has decided to extend said recommendation to 2021 until further notice.
On 23 October 2020, the Government issued a national recommendation for employees to work remotely until further notice. But the ministries had to assess the grounds for keeping the recommendation in force by the end of this year.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of Finance have assessed the effectiveness and impact of the recommendation.
In a joint press release, both government departments explained that since mid-October, the situation with regard to the Covid-19 epidemic has become "significantly more difficult both regionally and nationally."
Workplaces and employees have followed the recommendation widely, which is estimated to have reduced the number of close contacts at workplaces and in public transport.
Studies have shown that long-term remote work increases employees’ sense of strain at work, although the majority are still mainly satisfied with working remotely. On the other hand, many jobs cannot be done remotely. Where these jobs are concerned, the authorities have emphasized the employer's responsibility to promote work arrangements aiming to reduce close contacts and other risk factors at the workplace.
Situation still "very serious"
The ministries remarked that the epidemiological situation "is still very serious" and the nationwide recommendation to work remotely can help in curbing the spread of the epidemic. Therefore, they considered that "there are still strong grounds for keeping the national remote work recommendation in place in its current form."
In line with October's government resolution, "the national recommendation to work remotely will continue until further notice," the government said.
Grounds for a further extension of the recommendation will be assessed by 30 June 2021.