Know Your Rights at the Ministry – Access to Flex
The PSA has received concerns from members about a lack of access to the flexible working hours entitlement that is set out in Clause 21 of the Crown Employees (Public Service Conditions of Employment) Reviewed Award 2009.
We encourage all members to read this section of the award to familiarise themselves with their entitlements. You can find a copy of your award HERE.
The Ministry of Health also has a local Flex Agreement in place that was negotiated with the PSA which can be found on the Mintranet Local Flexible Working Hours Agreement.
Among other things, members have raised concerns about being directed to seek approval for working more or less than the standard seven hours per day and having starting and/or finishing times dictated to them from a supervisor.
In a recent ruling in the Industrial Relations Commission with regards to Flex Time in NSW Police the Commission took a dim view of attempts to artificially limit access to the entitlement:
“It is not open to individual supervisors to impose additional arbitrary limitations on an employee’s right to accrue flex leave.”
Fleming v Commissioner of Police  NSWIRComm 1023 (paragraph 59)
Your conditions cannot be changed at the whim of managers
The PSA is concerned that local managers are developing policy on the run that is not consistent with Ministry policy and is not compliant with the award. Policies should be developed on a Ministry-wide basis; not a team-by-team basis.
Any member who is denied Flex Time should seek written clarification from their manager stating the reason why. If your manager requires further information we advise providing them a copy of this bulletin.
If members have concerns about the response, or are unable to obtain a written response, they should contact their PSA delegates immediately. Your union delegates and industrial staff can confidentially raise this issue on your behalf and support you to access your entitlements.
Your union will continue to fight for and defend the basic conditions and entitlements of members in the Ministry of Health.
A union workplace is a fairer workplace – what can you do to help?
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