Return to Office – Urgent member update

Recently Westpac announced its confusing and inconsistent proposal to introduce a Hybrid model for working away from the office. In providing feedback many of you have raised questions and concerns. These include;

  • Expressions of interest have been sought for an initial 6 month period of working away from the office for 60% of the time. However, some of you have reported that you were not aware of this option and have not received an expression of interest.
  • Many of you have asked what this proposal will mean for any existing arrangements in place that might suit your particular needs.
  • Concerns have been raised around the Bank’s proposal that a number of staff would be excluded from this hybrid model due to considerations such as performance.

While our discussions with the Bank around this proposal continue it is very important that members are aware that this hybrid proposal should not be presented as an all or nothing arrangement. Under your Enterprise Agreement, the Bank’s introduction of any new “agile” arrangement requires your agreement. Accepting or declining this particular proposal does not stop you from making other arrangements, with the support of your Union, for working from home that suit your particular needs as well as the business.

So what can I do if I want a real say?

In responding late last week to FSU member concerns around their proposal, the Bank has invited FSU with an opportunity to provide further feedback. It has also indicated its willingness to consider additional working from home arrangements that address employees’ personal circumstances.

Due to member concerns raised around the specific Hybrid model proposed by the Bank there are 2 actions we will take.

  1. FSU intends to request a meeting with Westpac with a small worker delegation to detail the issues around the specific hybrid proposal announced by the Bank and seek a suitable outcome. If you would like to be part of this delegation please send your details here.
  2. Outside of this proposal all members have the ability to seek alternative working from home arrangements. If neither working in the office full time or Westpac’s specific hybrid proposal suit, you should contact your manager to discuss an alternative working from home arrangement. This also applies to workers who have had current working from home arrangements in place that you would like to maintain. Prior to contacting your Manager we advise that you seek advice from your union by contacting the FSU Members Rights Centre on 1300 36 378 or send an email here.

Over the last year, an increasing number finance employers have updated their working from home conditions within their Enterprise Agreement to provide more flexibility and control to their workers. Bargaining for a new Agreement is about to begin in the Westpac Group and we have an opportunity to push for clearer arrangements that provide more of a say and certainty for workers. Your views will be crucial so look out for further information on what position we take to the Bank on this critical subject.

Know someone who would benefit from knowing more about their rights at work – pass this email onto them. If they are not a member, perhaps they should join you and become an FSU member.

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary