"In order to dispel any possible misunderstandings, it is necessary to reiterate, in the context of the organisation of work in the Public Administration, the incompatibility between the adoption of a telework regime and the functions related to service", can be read in the order signed by several members of the Government.

In the document, the executive begins by referring that measures to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic "have been adjusted taking into account the evolution of the respective levels and risks of propagation", noting that the resolution of the Council of Ministers of 30 July that determines that telecommuting is recommended whenever activities allow.

The Government also recalls that, in October 2020, the guidelines for public administration in the context of the pandemic were defined, which already provided that "only all functions that can be performed outside the workplace and through telework are considered compatible with teleworking, for example the use of communication technologies”.

Now, the Government has decided to clarify these guidelines, determining that "the provision of work within the scope of public service services is included in cases where it is inseparable from the physical presence of the worker in the workplace, not compatible with telework" , reads the dispatch. The order, signed by the Deputy Secretaries of State and Fiscal Affairs, António Mendonça Mendes, Justice, Anabela Pedroso, Public Administration, José Couto, and Social Security, Gabriel Bastos, was criticised by the State Technical Staff Union (STE ). "The order is completely redundant, since guidance had already been given to the services and the directors, and it was up to them to do this reading", said the president of STE, Helena Rodrigues, to Lusa.

The union leader considers that the Government is thus "arranging a scapegoat to justify the main problem, which is the lack of personnel in public services". The greater affluence to public services "is a situation that repeats itself every year during the summer holidays", says Helena Rodrigues. "What we do not even want to admit is that the burden of the worst functioning of the services is placed on the workers and the well-known manoeuvre of turning citizens against citizens is put to use," says the STE, in a statement.