Department of Customer Service: Update on working from home and flexible work - Public Service Association

Department of Customer Service: Update on working from home and flexible work

Working From Home - Sept 2020 (PDF version)

The PSA has received a number of reports regarding varying practices over working from home and the application of flexible working practices across the Department of Customer Service. The following FAQs answer some of the most commonly asked questions:

Have core hours and bandwidth times changed?

Yes. In May 2020, the PSA agreed with the Department of Customer Service to temporarily abolish core hours and expand bandwidths from 6:00am to 10:00pm.

This agreement was made as a result of the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic.

The Department has indicated it is hoping to extend these arrangements beyond their current temporary nature. The PSA, while acknowledging the positives out of the changes, has concerns regarding the blurring of home and work, and the possibility of increased workhours and misuse by management. Any extension or changes to core hours and bandwidths would have to be agreed to by the union and we will consult with all members on the pros and cons of any changes.

Can my manager force me to work from home?

Under Health Guidelines and Work Health and Safety legislation, employers have a duty of care to ensure workers’ safety. Workers equally have a duty of care to others with whom they come into contact. If you do not want to work from home or are unable to work from home on a regular basis you should have a discussion with your manager. If you are unsuccessful, contact Member Support on and seek further help and advice.

Can my manager force me to work in the office?

Due to COVID-19, if you want to work from home, you are allowed to do so. Management has indicated to the PSA that workers are unlikely to be returning to the office for the rest of 2020. If you feel you are being forced back, seek written advice from your manager as to why and then contact Member Support on for further advice.

Working flexible hours from home

The PSA understands some members have been informed they are only allowed to work seven hours a day when working from home. This is an incorrect interpretation of the Department of Customer Service’s flexible working arrangements.

All regular flexible working practices apply as they are detailed in the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation Flexible Working Hours Agreement, regardless of whether you are working in the office or working from home.

It is important that members input their hours honestly and accurately when completing timesheets. If your manager asks you to lie on a timesheet please contact Member Support on with your issue.

Psychological Health Code of Practice

You have the right to be healthy and happy at work.

The NSW Government is currently seeking input on a draft of the Psychological Health Code of Practice. This code has the potential to create better WHS practices at your workplace and across NSW.

The survey is an opportunity for you to have your say on this code. You can access it HERE.

Meal allowances

The PSA has heard reports some workers have not been paid meal allowances in certain instances, such as when they are working overtime.

If you have worked overtime and have claimed a meal allowance which you have not been paid, please contact Member Support on for assistance.

How do I seek support if I have a problem or question?

The PSA is in your corner. If you have further questions regarding these issues, you can contact your Organiser, Harry Wall on or 0418 236 867.

If you have any new industrial issues, email the PSA’s Member Support Centre on or call 1300 772 679.

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