General Updates

Telework and your rights

Telework can be a great work/life balance option for both FIs and management. According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, telework can provide more flexibility, better personal time management and a higher job satisfaction for the employee, all while improving employee retention, productivity and reduced absenteeism for the employer.

Treasury Board’s telework policy objective is to allow work at different locations to promote and encourage work/life balance in an economical and operationally feasible manner. The FI Collective Agreement does not clearly allow or prohibit telework as telework is a discretionary agreement. Therefore, you must make a strong case for your telework request in order for management to approve it. However, if telework is needed due to a medical or other accommodation, please contact Labour Relations.

The main issue often raised by managers is that requests aren’t justified with enough substance. Managers want to know what type of work you’ll do and how you’ll complete it. For example, if there is computer software you can’t access at home you require to do your work, it would be difficult to approve your request. However, if there is review or drafting that can be done at home, this could be viable for approval.

In Treasury Board’s telework policy, approval requires your manager to apply the following conditions (among others):

  • The work is operationally feasible
  • Quality and quantity of work must be sustained;
  • Official language requirements are not compromised; and
  • The details of telework arrangement must be discussed and agreed upon (in writing) between the employee and the supervisor.

Here are some tips for making telework a beneficial agreement for everyone:

  • Upon approval, stick to the agreement you’ve made with your manager;
  • Telework functions well when management can clearly evaluate progress being made, therefore identify your work objectives and make sure to meet them;
  • If there are meetings or other engagements that need to be met, make sure you are flexible and available as required; and
  • Clear communication is the best way to make telework arrangements work, so if any questions arise from management about the arrangement, make sure to communicate clearly, quickly and in writing.

For more information about telework and your rights, please contact Labour Relations at labourrelations@acfo-acaf.com or by calling 1-877-728-0695 and asking to speak to a Labour Relations Advisor.

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