Return to Office and Flexible Work Arrangements - It's a Conversation
The Victorian Secretaries Board has approved a new Flexible Work Policy.
The Flexible Work Policy announced last week by the Government is about embedding flexible work with a focus on outcomes, your needs, and your team’s and organisation’s priorities.
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The health, safety and wellbeing of employees is at the core of flexible work.
It's not compulsory but the subject of a conversation consistent with our Victorian Public Service EA provisions.
The policy will embed flexible work in the Victorian Public Service and is based on consistent staff feedback that people want to work their standard five day working week as two to three days a week from a primary office location and two to three days a week from an alternate location – either a closer government office or from home.
The majority of operational employees have been working from the field the whole time and continued delivering services.
HQ staff are returning back to work at the office and the previous up to 75% was applicable but has now been restored to 100%.
Employees have a legal right to request flexible work already:
- clause 8 of the Victorian Public Service Enterprise Agreement sets out what flexible arrangements employees can use.
- section 65 in the Fair Work Act 2009
- Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010
- Senior Executive Service Employment Contract and Handbook
When an employee has a legal right to request flexible work, Employers must comply with the law.
This includes when an employee:
- is a parent, or has responsibility for the care of a child who is of school age or younger
- is a carer
- has a disability or long-term health condition
- is 55 or older
- is experiencing violence from a member of the employee’s family
- needs to give care or support their immediate family
- needs to give care or support a member of their household
- needs to give care or support someone who is experiencing violence from the member’s family
There are many types of flexible work, which can be ad-hoc, formal, informal, short- or long-term.
Employees can ask for flexible work at any stage of their employment and careers.