Public Employment and Management is a regular report bringing together the latest OECD data, insights and analysis on public services. This second edition focuses on the theme of flexibility in the public service. Over the last few years, governments have had the opportunity to take stock of many of the lessons learned in workforce management and workplace design rolled out or scaled up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Greater flexibility across the public service has the potential to be a lasting legacy of the pandemic, and each of the chapters in this edition support flexibility from different angles. For example, employee mobility (Chapter 1) ensures that governments can reallocate the skills and competencies of their public servants to priority areas. Learning and development (Chapter 2) helps public services keep up with social and technological change. Finally, flexible ways of working (Chapter 3), including remote working and adjusted working hours, create opportunities for public servants to work in new ways that better match their needs and expectations.

Chapters 1-3 are based on new data collected from OECD countries through the 2022 Survey on Public Service Leadership and Capability. The chapters illustrate important trends in each of the themes above and show how OECD countries are making significant use of tools and policies in that area. Chapter 4 provides a country-specific example by taking a closer look at how flexibility underpinned many of the recommendations of the OECD Review of Public Service Leadership and Capability in the Brazilian Federal Public Service.

A common finding across the report is that embedding flexibility needs to be supported with the right incentives and leadership culture to make it work. More intentional efforts, investments, and evidence are needed in all of these areas. The chapters are complemented by case studies of flexible work practices from Belgium, Korea, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

Public Employment and Management 2023 was co-ordinated by Dónal Mulligan under the guidance of Daniel Gerson, senior project manager in the Public Management and Budgeting Division of the OECD Public Governance Directorate, which is led by Elsa Pilichowski, Director. Jón Blöndal, Head of Division, provided strategic oversight. Chapter 1 on strategic mobility was drafted by Daniel Gerson. Alana Baker drafted Chapter 2 on building learning cultures in the public service, and the United Kingdom case study. François Villeneuve drafted Chapter 3 on flexible ways of working. Felicitas Neuhaus drafted Chapter 4, on the findings and recommendations of the OECD review of Public Service Leadership and Capability in Brazil, and the Belgian and Slovenian case studies. Seok Ahn drafted the Korean case study. The report was prepared for publication by Meral Gedik with administrative support from Lyora Raab, Deborah Merran and Aleksandra Bogusz. Information for the four country case studies were kindly provided by public servants in Belgium (Koen Beirens), Slovenia (Mojca Reinhardt) and the United Kingdom (the Government Skills and Curriculum Unit team). The OECD Secretariat wishes to thank the Delegates to the Working Party on Public Employment and Management and the Public Governance Committee for their commitment and support to this work.

The report was reviewed by the OECD Working Party on Public Employment and Management (PEM) on 10 March 2023. It was approved by the Public Governance Committee on 13 April 2023 and prepared for publication by the Secretariat.

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