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As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift around the country, and as Treasury Board’s position on telework was updated on February 28 informing departments they could resume their planning to gradually increase building occupancy, ACFO-ACAF would like to clarify its position surrounding telework arrangements.
The vast majority of ACFO-ACAF members have been working from home for the past two years while still maintaining high levels of productivity. With this level of efficiency in mind, as well as our preliminary State of the Community survey results for 2021-22 showing that nearly 95% of members wish to either telework full-time or work in a hybrid model, ACFO-ACAF believes our members should have the option to continue to telework.
With physical distancing, masking and vaccination requirements expected to loosen, ACFO-ACAF continues to support the safety of our members. We are advocating against broad policies forcing members to return to the workplace for a specific number of days per week. In consultation with OCHRO and departments, we have asked that telework requests be assessed on a case-by-case basis and taken the position that employees can continue to work at full capacity from home.
This is especially true for employees requiring accommodation. Employees who are unable to comply with vaccination, masking or other workplace requirements due to a human rights-based ground must be accommodated. In addition, as restrictions are lifted, those who are at greater risk medically must be accommodated with alternate work arrangements.
Telework should not be dependent on the preferences of managers and should instead be based on the type of work that is done by the employee. This ensures that fairness and consistency is applied across multiple job functions within the CT Community.
In the coming months, ACFO-ACAF will be taking stock of departments’ openness to telework and the flexibility of their policies. We will then share this information with members to encourage transparency and empower members to seek employment with departments who prioritize safety and flexibility.
If you require telework as an accommodation and your request for telework is denied, please request that the employer provide you with a detailed explanation in writing to explain the denial. If you do not receive an explanation, or for any questions about telework arrangements and your right to telework, please contact email@example.com.