21 March 2016 – Clarifying rostering and flexible working arrangements for our staff

This morning the Community Public Sector Union made claims that under the proposed Enterprise Agreement, staff can be forced to change their hours and work location every four weeks, and work split shifts. These claims are not correct.

The department absolutely supports flexible working arrangements for our staff and we will take into account individual needs and preferences. The proposed agreement makes clear that we will consult with employees where the department proposes to change an employee’s regular roster or ordinary hours of work. Working hours for rostered employees will apply for a four week period and may be negotiated up to 12 weeks in advance. These conditions remain unchanged from the existing agreement.

The department supports working parents and the proposed agreement maintains the right for parents with child care arrangements to request flexible working arrangements. Both the current and the proposed agreement allow staff to agree a regular pattern of hours for a period of up to 12 months to give them certainty over their personal arrangements.

There are very few shift workers in the department and the proposed agreement outlines working arrangements for shift workers. The proposed agreement explicitly states that shift workers will not be required to work split shifts.

Contrary to the union’s representation, the department is seeking to sensibly balance customer service priorities with staff rostering arrangements.

The department supports flexible working arrangements for our staff, however our role is to deliver services to the community and we need to be able to respond to the needs of all Australians.