We know that many Services Australia staff are interested in making applications for home based work, especially after your experience with COVID-19.
- CPSU member resources on your rights when applying for home based work
- Our campaign to improve the Services Australia policy on home based work, and
- Information about what’s happening in other APS agencies
Services Australia arrangements for applying for home based work are complex and applications can be made under three separate provisions, depending on your circumstances.
If you want to apply, it is critical that you understand your rights and seek advice and support from your CPSU delegates or our Member Service Centre to ensure you make the strongest possible case to work from home.
To assist members with understanding the process for applying for home based work, we have produced two Know Your Rights fact sheets:
The home based work policy is up for review. CPSU representatives on the National Consultative Committee discussed home based work arrangements at the meeting on Friday 30 April. Services Australia indicated very positive steps being undertaken to facilitate working from home.
Like the CPSU research conducted last year, Services Australia has acknowledged that when workers can work from home:
- productivity goes up
- unplanned absences go down, and
- staff give more positive feedback in their census answers.
Having successfully trialed “ad-hoc” short term working from home arrangements using office in a box arrangements, Services Australia has indicated they are moving to pilot a flexible approach involving some days working from home each week in the La Trobe Smart Centre.
Further, Customer Service Delivery and Payments Integrity Groups are establishing a working group involving all divisions to look at facilitating more working from home, including in Child Support and face to face work areas.
Clearly there is more work to do because we know that workers continue to have applications to work from home refused. That is why it is so important that CPSU members get assistance from their delegates and the Member Service Centre when applying to work from home and continue to share their experiences so that can ensure the revised policy addresses your issues and gets the best outcomes for staff.
Working from home is an important issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of how we work, with employers facilitating their employees working from home on a previously unimagined scale. It’s important that your rights keep up with these changes.
Your CPSU representatives are working across the APS on these issues - we are pushing for improvements while tracking where agencies are managing these issues well to push what’s working out to other areas to get the best results for members.
Members and delegates are looking for agreed policies that provide the right culture, mechanisms and practices to support employees and supervisors to facilitate WFH arrangements.
You can read more about our APS-wide campaign, and what’s happening in other agencies here.