Safety Return to Work Support - Failure of DFSI to consult - Public Service Association

Safety Return to Work Support – Failure of DFSI to consult

Safety Return to Work Support bulletin – failure of DFSI to consult – 13 Nov 2015 (PDF version)

The announcement by the Department on 23 June 2015 to implement a single flexible working hours agreement (FWHA) for various divisions of DFSI including the previous SRWS, has been stressful for a number of our members. This is in addition to the acute stress that is already felt by many members due to the constant restructuring of and physical relocations across the division.

The uncertainty of the impact, including maintaining aged and child care arrangements, has also caused concern.

In mid-October the PSA lodged a dispute in the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) to challenge the department over its lack of consultation with the PSA with respect to this significant workplace change.

The PSA has requested that DFSI permits the old SRWS staff to be exempt from the FWHA based on the above reasons. The PSA also requested that the DFSI engage in meaningful consultation with us so that these issues can be discussed. DFSI has declined to consult on the substantive merits associated with these requests.

The Crown Employees (Public Sector Review) Award 2009 requires the DFSI to raise the proposal to step back from the current suite of FWHA and the proposed implementation of a new FWHA with the PSA prior to a decision being made.

DFSI has also failed to comply with its consultative obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. Under section 49(d) of the Act, DFSI has an obligation to consult with workers when any change is being proposed which may affect the health (including psychological health) and safety prior to any such decision to implement the proposed changes.

The situation with the IRC dispute is that the consultative process required by law now be undertaken. Report back to the Commission on progress in the consultation is required at the end of November.

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