26 September 2023

Union finds homeworkers flexible

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The NSW Public Service Association (PSA) has reminded its members that PS employees are entitled to flexible start and finish times and the accrual of Flex hours, whether they’re working remotely or in an office.

In a notice to members, the PSA said some members claimed to have been advised they could not accrue Flex hours when working from home, so the Association had raised it with Human Resources (HR).

“HR’s initial response was that the provisions of the Flexible Working Hours Agreement should apply regardless of whether members are working from home or not,” the PSA said.

“The PSA subsequently followed up with further details provided by members within Field Services on 6 July,” it said.

“We will update members once we receive a response.”

The PSA reminded members to maintain accurate timesheets recording their actual working hours, whether working from home or the office, and to reasonably accrue and request Flex leave, as per the current Flexible Working Agreement.

“Any direction that you cannot accrue Flex time when working from home, or a limitation on your daily Flex accrual time when working from home, is not compliant with the Flexible Working Agreement,” the Association said.

It said management could not arbitrarily impose this additional restriction, not contained in the Agreement.

The PSA said management also could not quote ‘operational needs’ to justify a blanket rule to deny employees access to the Crown Award condition of flexible hours.

“Operational needs can be met without imposing a Flex time restriction and it is a managerial responsibility to effectively manage teams to facilitate this,” it said.

“If you have been advised that you are not allowed to access flexible start and finish times, or accrue Flex leave, please contact the PSA for assistance.”

The PSA’s notice to members, including information on how to get assistance with Flex leave entitlements, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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