The Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo, today signed the Order approving the Work Safety Scheme and Plan of de-escalation in the Administration of Justice before COVID-19.
The new provision, which foresees the implementation of the staggered reinstatement of judicial officials in service starting next Tuesday, has been agreed upon at the meeting of the Crisis Coordination Commission in the Administration of Justice – the body that brings together the Ministry of Justice, the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), the Prosecutor's Office, the autonomous communities competent in the matter and the Advocacy – at their weekly meeting this morning.
The order foresees four phases of de-escalation that will be adapted according to the changes in scenario in the fight against the coronavirus established by the Government and the recommendations of the health authorities in accordance with the evolution of the pandemic.
- Phase 1. It starts next Tuesday. Called "Beginning of scheduled reinstatement", it implies the return to service of 30% or 40% of the workforce both in the judicial and prosecutorial bodies, as well as in the Institutes of Legal Medicine and the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences. This first stopover will last at least one week.
- Phase 2, called "Preparation for the reactivation of procedural deadlines". It foresees that the reincorporated personnel ascend to 60% or 70% in each organ or service. In it, the work of the officials may be distributed in morning and afternoon shifts. It will last at least two weeks.
- Phase 3, "Ordinary activity with activated procedural deadlines". See the return to work of 100% of the templates.
- Phase 4, "Normalized activity according to the situation before the alarm state". It will begin at the time the health recommendations are raised, allowing the normal functioning of each organ to be resumed.
The provision also establishes the criteria for the coverage of afternoon shifts established by Royal Decree-Law 16/2020 of April 28, on Procedural and Organizational Measures to deal with COVID-19 in the area of the Administration of Justice. for the remainder of the alarm status and the following three months. Participation in these shifts, created to ensure the safety distance between the staff and avoid contagions, will be, in general, voluntary.
Tomorrow's shift will be six hours between 7.30 and 14.00 and between 70 and 80% of the workforce will attend. In the afternoon, four and a half hours between 15:00 and 20:00, between 20 and 30% of the personnel who must attend according to each phase of the de-escalation will attend. Between the two, a one-hour period is established to clean and disinfect the workstations and common spaces. During the afternoon there will be no customer service or professionals.
The provision contains in a very detailed way the work safety measures that must be deployed throughout the process towards the new normality. Among the collective protection measures, a minimum safety distance of two meters is generally established in all work spaces, modifying if necessary the arrangement of the posts and the organization of the movement of people. In the event that this security cannot be guaranteed, physical barriers such as partitions or panels will be used.
Regarding customer service, it will generally be carried out by telephone or email. If a face-to-face procedure is necessary, it will necessarily be organized by appointment and maintaining the safety distance and respecting a maximum capacity to guarantee it. The order also includes very specific instructions regarding the cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and workspaces, the ventilation of the facilities and the distribution of hydro-alcoholic solutions.
Regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the provision provides for workers with direct attention to the public. The use of a mask is considered a complementary safety measure, but not a replacement for other collective preventive measures. Both masks and gloves should be used when risks cannot be avoided or cannot be sufficiently limited by other means of protection.
The order will be published tomorrow in the Official State Gazette.