Civil servants will be allowed to return to and work in their place of origin as part of the government’s voluntary mobility scheme devised to enable the voluntary transfer of public sector workers to departments suffering from staff shortages.
Although the bill is still in a draft phase, the Administrative Reform Ministry says it is already inundated with applications – most of which are from civil servants in Athens and Thessaloniki, working at tax offices, town planning authorities as well as municipal offices, prefectures and hospitals.
According to the ministry, the bill will be ready for submission to Parliament by the end of May.
A possible sticking point of the bill concerns the mobility of civil servants working in the public health sector, as hospitals, especially ones in larger urban areas, suffer from staff shortages, rendering transfer requests difficult to process.
Addressing this concern, Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform Christoforos Bernardakis has already proposed that the bill include limits on the transfers of certain categories of civil servants, depending on the department.
These limits, ministry officials say, are necessary in order to cope with severe shortages, as is the case with public hospitals in Athens, meaning that applications from medical staff in the capital will be rejected.
The mobility scheme is being introduced by the government to streamline the country’s bloated and inefficient public sector and to save jobs.