Members have been reporting that managers across the university are beginning to compel staff to return to campus beyond what is required for a given role or for spurious reasons.
Professional staff, in particular, are being asked to work on campus to better ‘support academic’ staff who are themselves working remotely. Others have reported managers directing teams to work in the office while they remain working from home.
We wrote to Deakin’s HR department to seek clarity around this patchwork of arrangements, unfair and unsafe practices and excessive managerial discretion. We wanted to encourage them to engage with our WFH claim in current bargaining and provide clear, unambiguous direction to managers about handling remote work in safe and fair ways.
Beyond bargaining and amidst reports of inconsistent treatment and approaches, we simply wanted them to affirm and communicate to staff their own policy, which states mamagment has a ‘guiding principle that all staff will work on-campus for at least 60% of their time, with up to 40% of their time working at home or another off-campus location’.
No uni-wide communication would be forthcoming and although they paid lip-service to being “committed to enabling our staff to have a blended approach to ways of working”, they tellingly emphasised that:
it is important to remember that staff are contracted to work at a specific campus location. It remains reasonable for employees to be directed to attend work on campus as required by their role. Working from home is not an employee right and on campus working remains a critical part to the way that we work.Stacey Walton, Chief People and Culture Officer
Beyond the pre-pandemic flexible work rights in the Act, at any point, and for any reason, your manager can compel you back into the office. No debates, no rationale, no reason.
What you can do about it?
The only way to protect your ability to continue working remotely for some of the week is to help us win that right during our bargaining.
And the first and most important things you can do to help?
Come and meet the DPSN to learn more
The DPSN will be meeting Monday 3 April at 12:00 pm online.